The COVID-19 pandemic has popularised new ways of working, and while some companies have adapted to it some still find it difficult to shift to hybrid or remote work setups. Companies such as Adobe, Amazon, Microsoft, Ford, and many more have already accepted hybrid or remote models. However, tech giant Apple has been in news recently as the company emailed its staff on at Wednesday 7 a.m. to survey them about their hybrid work experience. The survey comes after Apple Inc. threatened to take disciplinary action against employees who do not show up for work in person for least three days a week.
The Apple Email
According to a report published by Business Insider, Apple has been sending emails to its staff at 7 a.m. to ask about their experience with hybrid work. The survey comes after Apple reportedly threatened to take disciplinary action against employees who do not show up for work in person at least three days a week.
In a memo sent to employees, Apple’s retail and people teams said, “For all that we’ve been able to achieve while many of us have been separated, the truth is that there has been something essential missing from this past year: each other.”
It also said that “video conferencing has narrowed the distance between us, to be sure, but there are things it simply cannot replicate.” The company warned its employees to return to work in person at least three days a week and employees who fail to comply could face disciplinary action.
The Business Insider Report
According to Business Insider a person familiar with the email told them that most of the questions were focused on what better the work-from-home model offer to the employees. The “Apple Employee Survey” primarily focused on hybrid work but it also asked employees about company culture. As per the report, the survey should take 10-15 mins to complete and the staff has to respond to it by April 28, Friday.
This move by Apple has sparked a debate among employees and industry experts. While a section is supporting Apple for encouraging in-person work culture and collaborations, others have criticized the company’s threat of discipline.
People for the motion argue that in-person collaboration is essential for innovation and creativity. They argue that when employees remain in the same workplaces they tend to be better at communication, and they experience spontaneous brainstorming, and team bonding, which ultimately leads to an increase in productivity.
Whereas people against the motion believe that a company should not threaten its employees as it is not an effective way to encourage employees to return to work in person. According to them by implementing such policies company might demotivate employees and even make them uncomfortable and insecure. This could also lead to lesser job satisfaction. They also give an account of several cases when employees have actually proved to be more efficient and productive in hybrid or remote working conditions.
As industries are evolving, work culture should become more mature and sensitive towards the needs and wants of their employees. Such moves by giants and industry-leading companies show their desperate need for productivity and efficiency. The science has been clear that productivity doesn’t drop and in fact, may even increase with hybrid models. What it does do is allow people to regain personal time, which further allows them to wonder why they work at all, which leads to philosophical discussions on whether our current model of employment to survive is the best model after all. Some people believe that there is nothing wrong with sending emails at 7 a.m. as it does not require immediate attention.