File This Under "Boo Hoo"

Apple employees are unhappy to have to come to work ONE DAY A WEEK according to Yahoo Finance…

"Seventy-six percent of Apple workers surveyed said they were dissatisfied with Apple’s return-to-office policy that was implemented after the COVID pandemic started waning.

The survey, conducted by anonymous social network Blind, collected answers from 652 Apple employees from April 13 to 19. Although the identities of the respondents are unknown, their work status was verified by their Apple corporate email addresses.

The findings show that Apple may be having a tough time with its hybrid work plan, which started on April 11, that requires corporate workers come into the office once a week. Under the policy, in-office attendance is set to increase on May 23, when workers must go into the office three days weekly.

Up until mid-April, many Apple employees had been working entirely from home for two years. Now, accustomed to no commute, they’re now balking at having to return to the office and say they will seek jobs at other tech companies that offer more flexible work arrangements."

Boo f’ng hoo…pardon my French, but who wouldn’t prefer sitting at home in your jammies and playing with your computer to going to an office, or going to a construction site, or going to an oil rig, or going to a steel plant…get my drift? Plus Zoom is NO SUBSTITUTE for personal collaboration. I get it, interminable meetings are the bane of productivity, but interaction with other equally talented/bright collegues is invaluable.

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They discussed this on yesterday’s MacBreak Weekly and Leo mentioned a guy he knows who spent a year in Barbados phoning it in, so to speak. Another has two full-time remote jobs, at Microsoft and Facebook (er, Meta), while still getting more family time.

Interesting times. Mucho envy.

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If the job can be completely done from home, I don’t see a problem with not having to come to the office, and it’s not just about Apple.

High rent price and long commute is becoming a bigger and bigger problem. Remote working allow people to move to cheaper area, not wasting extra one or two or three hours a day on commute ( yes, some people can’t afford to rent closer than three hours of daily commute from their job), or having to buy a car as work requirement while oil price is skyrocketing. Some people even with above average salary still barely have any saving because they live in expensive city.

Time is also an important factor. I would be willing to get lower pay if I can take back two hours a day of my life to myself. Life is too short to when you spend more than half of your days wasted away at the office and commute then go home to find you only have 1-2 hours of personal time before bed time, while not saving anything because most of your money was spent on expensive rent, commute cost like gas and car repayments.

I don’t know how much Apple employees are paid, but even if it seemed like they are already privileged (I’m actually quite jealous ), it should be their rights to fight for permanent remote jobs or look else for jobs that offer it.

And I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume people just lazy around playing game when work from home. A down side of remote working is: because it can be done out of office, many extra tasks can be given after work hours, and sometimes people have to do even more works a day than they did at the office.

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@Dellaster and @CrazyCat - I get the “family time” and “commute/urban cost” issues, but those were there long before COVID. Likewise, we have all learned, the hard way, that a lot of things can be accomplished from home remotely.

But not everything can be done remotely, and the employer, right or wrong, has the right to set work conditions within our wage, overtime and OSHA regulations, and it is the employee’s right to “vote with their feet.” If Google, MS, or other smaller the companies choose to compete on a “stay at home vs commuting” system, that’s decision. But I just bristle at the concept of the employee having the “right” to work from home. It’s not even an option in the physical trades, and knowledge/service workers cannot collaborate effectively by Zoom/Teams alone. I found that out in the legal industry in spades - there is no effective alternative to interaction in the same physical environment.

This one really upsets me because employers are taking unfair advantage of remote workers (as well as just the usual office trends of after hours email and texts) which violate those very wage, hour, and work condition rules I referenced above.

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Agree 100%. My view is more like “nice work if you can get it”. I was fortunate to freelance from anywhere there was cellular the last decade of my working life, traveling as I pleased. But before that I was a wage slave commuting to work and back, up to 2 1/2 hours coming home in Los Angeles traffic when I worked near downtown. I paid my dues.

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I can’t work from home. I am so easily distracted that I need to go into an office where I have all my work things and nothing else to compete for my attention. I am just too conditioned, I suppose, to be able to be productive at home.

That person who worked in the Bahamas and phoned it in has my ultimate respect. I spent a couple of years at the University of Miami in my early college career and it was not pretty. When faced with tropical wonderfulness and work, there is no contest. If I was in the Bahamas, literally nothing would get done … ever.

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I mean, there’s a world of difference between a software engineer and an oil rig worker (who gets paid extra for being out on the rig). And even in comparison to trades, the centres/main offices where they clock-in and out are often more accessible. They travel mainly during work and thus get paid for it.

And it’s also Apple. I too would be rather pissed having to go back to a work environment that not only involves commuting, but also involves a security check just to get into work on consumer stuff (working on stuff of national security is another ball game).

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon did several interviews making the case for in person work and the importance of organic human interaction.

Two things to remember:
(1) A big part of the loudest objectors to return to work are huge advocates of and demand the urban lifestyle (walk everywhere, new foodie places, bike paths, grocery/pharmacy/dry-cleaning in the building, etc.) That type of urban development only exists in the shadows of huge towers of Class A office space that dot the downtown/satellite spaces of urban America.
(2) Shareholders and customers are not going to agree to bear the cost of paying Class A office rent for “part-time” use. Without those office workers, the other small business in downtown zones can’t make it (look at how many closed during COVID lockdowns). This remote work trend threatens a 30-year effort to revitalize downtowns across America.

Be careful what you wish for…

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Then again, it could revitalize small towns across America that have been dwindling for quite a while now due to urban centralization.

Then again, these remote workers tend to be on the affluent end of the spectrum, will choose to flock to the nicer remote places, will drive the property prices through the roof, and the natives will no longer be able to afford to live there.

Then again… the point being that there are a lot of factors and the outcome could surprise everyone, like what the automobile did to dating.

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You are correct. I wonder how many hundreds of billions of commercial mortgages are outstanding on all that Class A office space and whether a collapse/default spiral in that market would cause a repeat of 2008 recession.

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It is already driving up prices in remote cities. I’ve seen articles about Boise ID, Aspen & Vail Co, Nevada, etc. - this article is almost a year old but it is booming even more today: Remote workers spur housing boom in smaller US cities, drive up prices - ABC News

In fact, I’d be willing to bet that many of the remote holdouts have moved a considerable distance away and will lose their shirts commuting or coming back.

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Pretty good arguments for both sides of the issue, but shouldn’t the determining factor be based on productivity comparison between the physical and virtual work periods? I mean if employers saved a load of cash and upped productivity more with physical work, it only makes sense to go back to it. TBH, physical interaction is already overrated with these newer generations and will continue to lose value.

That said, I for one, am in favor of physical work mainly because of the possible impact on the real estate as well as transportation sectors and the resulting economic fallout.

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As someone who works in the finance/regulatory industry, the company I worked for saw record financial results last year while everyone worked from home. People often mention “soft factors” why returning to the office is important (eg building relationships, collaboration, etc), but the actual quantifiable facts are that businesses have not only survived but excelled with a remote work force. I for one put a lot more credit in the bottom line than in management’s “feelings” that it’s better for people to have their butts in seats at the office. What gets done is a lot more important than where it gets done. It’s refreshing to see the younger generation challenge the norms to see if there’s a better (or at least alternate) way of doing things.
This of course primarily applies to office-type jobs.

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There are social issues no matter what path is chosen.

But up until the pandemic, people were getting pushed more and more by the cost of living. House prices around the world in suburbs of urban areas were reaching stupid levels, if there were even any for sale. Commuting was becoming more and more expensive. Childcare (that you need if your office demands you come in) was expensive. Etc., etc.

Suddenly, a lot of people had not only more free time, but also disposable income. For example, they not only had to use less childcare, they could also easily afford it if they wanted it. It’s hard to entice someone back when they’ve tasted the opportunity to spend more time with their family and friends, enjoy their hobbies, while being financially better off as well.

Then there issues of the immense expansion of conurbations. Yes, they offered everything under the sun in them, and the downtowns in the urban areas that were well managed and with some luck got rejuvenated. But that was at the expense of services and options in less urban areas. And a lot of that demand for services in the rejuvenated downtowns was only because people had to be there.

I think many people were reaching the end of their tether in many ways and it wasn’t sustainable.

As @Yodamike has pointed out, that’s mostly for office jobs. The trades are different, but from what I can tell, they’ve been doing alright anyway as they can and do charge for the extra time and effort their work requires. The few tradies that I know have also had more free time and financial freedom then people I know who work in offices. Sure, eventually they end up earning less, but then if they chose to take on more work they quickly catch up to most professions.

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i worked from home for a few months a few years ago.

it was ok, and very convenient. but i preferred going in person.
so when that started again, i was fine with it. and now in fact,
its much better going in person, and dealing with people,
asking questions etc.

i never had high speed internet, so they had to give me a wifi
and that was always flaky and sometimes intermittent.

anyways, my brother preferred working at home, and he
has decided not to go back, and just stays inside all the time.

now, our company has made it mandatory to work in person,
and they have gotten rid of all the covid stuff like masks, and
checking in, so thats a big relief.

glad things are getting back to normal.

later
-1

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Greg Gutfeld had an amusing discussion segment about this recently. My favorite part was that returning to the office would be racist. I have absolutely no idea how that is supposed to work.

PS: Purely technical work on complex systems can really only be done in person. The aircraft industry proved this conclusively as far back as the 70’s and 80’s and it’s been reproven about once a decade ever since…

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I’m a software developer. I got a new job about a year ago with a company in Dallas. I live in Houston. They told me they eventually plan on returning to work at least in a Hybrid style, but didn’t know what that looked like, and asked if I was willing to relocate. I looked at housing prices in DFW at the time, and compared to the salary, said yes, and accepted the job. After starting, I asked my boss how soon I needed to move. He said as long as I was in TX and could travel for occasional meetings, he was ok with me staying in Houston. I was fine with that, and didn’t look for a house. My wife’s family is here in Houston, and I have an office in my home that affords me lots of privacy for working remotely.

When my company announced they would start returning with a Hybrid model of 2 days a week, I looked at the housing market again. In 6 months, the cost of housing had gone up 25%. I have 4 kids and can’t really fit them in a smaller house than we’re in, and really would prefer a bigger house, but that’s a side note. The main point is, I would need to pay double for a new house of similar size if I moved from Houston to DFW. Factoring in my savings, and what I can get from this house, plus interest rates having risen substantially since I was hired, I can no longer afford to buy a house in DFW at my salary. Instead, I’ve been commuting 2 days a week, staying in BnBs, which, while not great for my family, is quite a bit cheaper than actually moving.

Now, did I agree to move? Yes I did. But circumstances have also changed. It’s well within my company’s rights to have a Hybrid environment. It’s also well within my rights to look for employment elsewhere that provides a better work life balance so I can either afford to move, or stay remote and not have to travel so often.

My company is being really great and looking into options to hopefully convert me to remote work permanently, but I do understand that circumstances are different for everyone, and it’s not a cut and dried boo hoo scenario for all remote employees now needing to return to office.

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Well, my “Boo Hoo” seems to be getting serious:

Apple Director of Machine Learning Leaves Apple Over Return to Work

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A little late to the conversation. For the past…many years I worked for a local real estate company. It paid decent as was super flexible with hours. Lived 5 mins from the place and so long as certain things got done, it didn’t matter if I only worked 2 hours during the day and waking up at 11am was more or less the norm for me. What I specifically did was somewhat of a dead end job, but it was so ungodly comfy in its sheer flexibility I was content. Prior to that I used to work in Hospitality which had some wonky as heck hours, (7am-3pm, then the next day 3pm-11pm, and then the next day 11pm -7am)

Then Covid and other factors necessitated a change in life path. About 1.5 years failing at getting into Web Dev, I found a really suitable career at a somewhat large tech company. Been on the job for 2 months now and was hired for Hybrid. 2 Days in office and 3 days Remote. My hours are 9-6 and for the first time in my life I can attest I’m now working the 9-5 grind.

It was rumored that around June the company was going to reassess the hybrid policy, to possibly 3 days in office or more.

Well today got a company wide email from Human resources. After doing a company wide survey (before I joined) they announced today that they decided to continue on with the 2 days in office Hybrid till June of 2023. They released the statistics of the survey and it was overwhelmingly 90% in favor of continuing hybrid and more in office time would hurt employee productivity and hurt employee moral.

2 months of going in just 2 days a week…and I am thanking the Heavens they didn’t up it to 3 or more. My drive to the office is about 25 minutes without Traffic but with Traffic it can take 45-50 easy. (Today was a nightmare on the roads). So days when I’m remote I can get almost a full extra hour of sleep. Don’t have the stressful drive home in traffic so at 6 when I can turn the computer off, I can do whatever I want right then at 6pm, and since I’ve been home all day and had more sleep, I’m more prone to go out after work (Gym, bookstore, drinks, shopping etc) where as the in-office days, when I get home by 7pm-ish, I’m just a zombie the rest of the night.

Having never worked a proper in-office 9-5, I find the prospect of working full time in-office kind of nightmarish.

So I share the sentiment of the Boo Hoo 100%.

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here’s another article of more complainers from apple:

later
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