Apple Employees Finding Bizarre Reasons to Resist Return to Office

After two years of many Apple employees working entirely from home, the tech giant’s plan to transition workers back into the office has sparked shrill outrage from its workforce. The company will require corporate workers to show up three days a week beginning May 23.

Three days a week. If compiling a list of uniquely first-world problems, being mandated to show your face in the office three days a week is a great place to start.

The revolt faced by Apple and other companies who actually want employees to show up and do their jobs would have started sooner except for the surges of COVID-19 variants over the fall and winter.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the “hybrid working pilot” for employees in the U.S., Europe and the U.K. in March. Employees last month started going back to the office one day a week and just now began two in-office work days. There is also an option to work remotely for up to four weeks a year built into the plan.

A survey of over 650 Apple workers, mostly in engineering and product roles, found 56% of respondents looking for other work because of the office requirement. Reasons cited include COVID-19 risks in the office, toxic company culture, and work-life balance.

Then the motivations get a tad bizarre.

A group of U.S.-based employees formed “Apple Together” to fight having to work in the office three days a week. In an open letter to Apple executives, they laid out their reasons for avoiding being in the office “at least three fixed days of the week.”

Primary among them is diversity. The group claims Apple will become “younger, whiter, more male-dominated, more neuro-normative, and more able-bodied.” Apple Together claims privileges, which they define as being born in the “right place, being young, and having a stay-at-home spouse,” will drive who works at the tech giant.

Other privileges include being born into a gender that is not expected to care for children and having to do your “fair share” of unpaid work in modern society.

Just think, most members of Apple Together have not-too-distant ancestors who either endured the Great Depression in the U.S. or migrated from elsewhere hoping for better opportunities. And their descendants are now aghast at having to appear at work three days a week?