Apple Is Reportedly Taking Attendance Amid Back to Office Push

A view of Apple headquarters a Apple Park on June 06, 2022 in Cupertino, California.
A view of Apple headquarters a Apple Park on June 06, 2022 in Cupertino, California.

Apple’s Cupertino headquarters nicknamed “The Spaceship” is reportedly tracking employee badges to see if they’re actually coming into the office three days a week.

Apple has struggled to force its employees back into the office with its hybrid work plan, even though its employees have largely been antagonistic to the Cupertino company’s in-office working whims. Like we’re all back in grade school, Apple is just the next company that is reportedly taking attendance to make sure its staff are commuting at least three days a week to the office.

Zoë Schiffer, the managing editor of the Platformer tech blog, tweeted Wednesday based on unnamed sources that Apple would use badge sign in records to track if they’re coming into the office. Those who don’t will get “warnings” if they don’t come in the mandatory three days a week. Some teams are telling staff if they don’t comply they could be shown the door. Schiffer has had experience reporting on Apple’s remote work policy for The Verge, though the tweet didn’t offer much about her source.

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Still, this isn’t exactly groundbreaking stuff, as recent reports from longtime Apple analyst Mark Gurman have noted that the tech giant is doing whatever it can to avoid layoffs. Part of this reportedly includes threatening to lay off employees who don’t go in to work Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Last May, employees protesting the company’s work from home plans managed to delay the mandatory three day in-office policy. Apple’s former Director of Machine Learning Ian Goodfellow allegedly jumped ship to Google’s parent company Alphabet after Apple started to crack down on remote work. Apple workers have circulated petitions in protest of their company’s work mandates that finally went into effect last September.

Of course, it’s not just Apple that’s now apparently checking daily attendance to make sure employees are clocking into the office. Though as far as other tech companies go, it’s hard to see how Apple stacks up. The Alphabet-owned Google requires staff to show up three days in-person with plans to eventually end all hybrid work altogether. At the same time, Googlers in the company’s cloud business are only expected to work in office two days a week, but they also might have to share or rotate desks due to downsizing. Last month, YouTube Music contractors went on strike over a return to in-person work order and alleged union busting tactics.

In February, Amazon also issued a three-day hybrid work order to its office employees. CEO Andy Jassy said up until that point, some teams had been working exclusively from home while others were working hybrid, but that was somehow impacting their employees ability to “absorb” the company “culture.”

Microsoft, on the other hand, has been more open to cushier hybrid work policies which lets employees work remotely 50% of the time. The company’s own Work Trends study seems to back up the claim that “hybrid work is just work.” Still, CEO Satya Nadella spoke at the recent Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit and said that employers are still too concerned about how productive employees are being when they’re working from home.

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