Apple Reverses Remote Work Policy, Exec Goes To Alphabet

Image for article titled Too Little Too Late: Apple Reverses Remote Work Policy After Machine Learning Head Decamps to Alphabet

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Nicely, that is awkward. Considered one of Apple’s highest-profile return-to-office detractors reportedly landed a brand new gig at Alphabet’s DeepMind, marking the most recent drama over Huge Tech’s distant work scuffles. That transfer, satirically, comes proper across the identical time Apple determined to stroll again its most up-to-date return-to-office push

In an inside memo seen by Bloomberg Tuesday, the corporate mentioned it’s going to delay its three-day in-office work requirement set to take impact on Might 23. The memo reportedly cited the current uptick in covid-19 instances for the delay and did not present any exhausting date for once they’d strive once more. Apple employees are nonetheless required to work within the workplace two days per week and can now should put on masks in frequent areas.

On the identical time, Ian Goodfellow, Apple’s former Director of Machine Studying, who dramatically left the corporate at the very least partially over its distant work restrictions, will reportedly be part of Alphabet’s DeepMind. Sources advised Bloomberg Goodfellow will be part of DeepMind as an “particular person contributor.” He had beforehand labored as a senior researcher at Google again in 2019.

That job swap marks a serious blow for Apple, an organization that is struggled to appease employees at odds with its return to work technique. Goodfellow, who’s essentially the most senior member identified to have jumped ship over distant work thus far, reportedly addressed the problem instantly in a be aware to workers obtained by The Verge’s Zoë Schiffer. “I imagine strongly that extra flexibility would have been the very best coverage for my crew,” Goodfellow reportedly wrote.

Goodfellow’s departure got here across the identical time a gaggle of Apple workers wrote an open letter to firm executives criticizing the insurance policies which it claimed had been “pushed by worry.”

“We’re not asking for everybody to be pressured to do business from home,” the letter reads. “We’re asking to determine for ourselves, along with our groups and direct supervisor, what sort of association works greatest for every one in all us, be that in an workplace, do business from home, or a hybrid strategy. Cease treating us like faculty youngsters who have to be advised when to be the place and what homework to do.”

Employees, greater than ever, are prepared to ditch their corporations over office flexibility. In line with an April ADP reportalmost two-thirds (64%) of US employees served mentioned they’d take into account in search of a brand new job in the event that they had been pressured to return to an workplace full time.

Apple didn’t instantly reply to Gizmodo’s request for remark.

It is price noting that Alphabet hasn’t absolutely embraced a remote-first workplace both. Google, the conglomerate’s largest workforce, moved to a hybrid workweek again in April which required workers to work from their workplace three days per week. That sounds fairly just like Apple’s proposal, although earlier studies counsel Google extra repeatedly approves distant requests. As of final August, the corporate reportedly permitted 85% of worker requests to work remotely or relocate. Gizmodo reached out to DeepMind for extra particulars on its distant work approval course of however they declined to remark.

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