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A long-distance trade-off could be a win / win for Apple


Large and small companies had to rethink their office work plans, and many opted to compromise telecommuting. Google recently rejected its own plans to return to the office, and its own deal is similar to Apple’s, but with a little more flexibility.

While it seems unlikely that Apple will seriously reconsider its position, it offered another additional concession last month, and it seems to me that extending this could be beneficial to the company and employees…

Apple and Google have the same basic policy: three days a week in the office, two days off. Apple lists the days in the office: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Google says staff must be in the office three days a week, but teams can agree on which days.

Some Apple employees have called for more flexibility, including the option of full-time from home where appropriate, but CEO Tim Cook was initially adamant that the company would not back down from its previously stated position.

Apple offered one additional benefit: employees could – with the consent of their manager – take an additional two weeks of annual telework. This was to allow staff to work while traveling, either visiting family and friends, or simply enjoying a change of scenery.

I advocated for more flexibility back in July, but Apple made only one subsequent concession: the additional weeks of telecommuting were doubled from two to four.

Here I think there is room for further compromise on teleworking. Extending this offer to two months, or even three, could make disgruntled employees much happier with their work, while still keeping the core three days a week until the end of the year.

I have personal experience of the value of this kind of flexibility: I work most of my life from home. I was immersed in the corporate world for a little over a decade, but for most of my working life I had the freedom to work wherever I wanted.

For me, this is absolute huge benefit. First, because I adore my 10-second journey. But also because it allows me to travel while continuing to work. Before the pandemic, I would take work holidays several times a year. I visited cities as widespread as Buenos Aires, Boston, Cape Town, Las Vegas, Shanghai, Tokyo and Vancouver, working in the morning and vacationing in the afternoon (or vice versa, depending on time zones). That means I feel like I’m taking a lot more time on vacation than I actually do.

Extending the telecommuting allowance to two or three months would be a huge bonus for employees in terms of work-life balance. Some might use it to travel the country or the world, thus enriching their lives. Others, who greatly appreciate working from home, could enjoy this lifestyle a decent part of the year.

Of course, the same drivers I mentioned last time would still be valid. There will be employees who will have to work in the office most of the year, so it would be necessary to give and take something on both sides. But those employees whose work can be done efficiently from anywhere would gain a significant victory, while Apple would still be allowed to protect its position of office work which is the norm.

what is your attitude Could this be a good compromise or should Apple stick to its gun? Fill out our survey and share your opinion in the comments.

Photo: Avi Richards / Unsplash

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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