Apple, who has historically been anti-remote work, has made a lot of headlines in the past months. Their policy has shifted in this COVID reality to one where they will move to a hybrid model. It ramps up with 2-days a week and then to 3-days a week in the office. Many are not happy about it. And how, Apple’s refusal to all fully-remote work has compelled their Director of AI to resign. The story by S. Dent at Engadget has the details.
Now, Apple has lost director of machine learning Ian Goodfellow over the policy, according to a tweet from The Verge’s Zoë Schiffer. Goodfellow may have been the company’s most cited machine learning expert, according to Schiffer. “I believe strongly that more flexibility would have been the best policy for my team,” he wrote in a note to staff.Engadget
Goodfellow’s leaving Apple is more within the Great Resignation movement. To me, this idiology is not losing steam and it’s for good reason: workers have an advantage over employers. This is the first time in many, many years that employees have leverage to demand better working conditions, benefits, and play potential employers against one other for the best possible compensation package.
In a recent open letter to Apple’s management, a group of employees put remote work succinctly:
We tell all of our customers how great our products are for remote work, yet, we ourselves, cannot use them to work remotely? How can we expect our customers to take that seriously? How can we understand what problems of remote work need solving in our products if we don’t live it?
And they have a point. Apple has tried to position their products as do-anywhere devices. If employees can deliver their work in the same capacity as being in an office, why force them to come to the office? To me, the answer is simple. Let employees work how they want. Whether it’s remote, hybrid, or on-site, give people the ability to get their stuff done. The results will speak for themselves on who can handle it or not.