Issue #19
#19 - Apple relents on return-to-work, "irresistible" companies -- and layoff hacks?
May 27, 2022


#power #ReturnToWork

Apple gets a lot of press on its return-to-work policy. Which is fair; maybe even a good thing -- it's a trillion dollar company, and people look to it as a bell weather for the rest of tech, and in turn, the broader workforce. But it's also because its employees have voiced quite a bit of opposition to the policy (which mandated they be in the office three days-a-week).

In the past month, there have been stories over a group at Apple writing an angry letter over the policy. A high-profile machine learning engineer left the company over it. And now? It seems Apple has backed away from the policy.

The fact that Covid rates are way up no doubt played into the decision. But one has to wonder to what extent the pressure (internal/employee, and external/press), was also a factor. Apple competes for talent -- and goodwill - with the likes of Google, Microsoft and Facebook, whose policies seem to have avoided Apple's level of employee dissent.

In the end it's hard to know what all was at play. But the decision coming right as tech stocks crash is at least a data point worth flagging, as we discern if employees will sustain leverage through a bad market.


#LayoffHacks #ReturnToWork

Sergio suggests ⬆️ that companies will force employees keen to work at home, back to office -- because squeezing them into quitting is easier than laying them off outright. Better to passive aggressively make life miserable until an employee quits, the logic goes, than to have to lay them off.

To be fair, layoffs and severance packages are financially costly. They mean bad press, and a big hit to team morale. Laying off is also just a very painful process, that managers often loathe to lead through.

Then again, keeping a bunch of unhappy employees on payroll, for open-ended amounts of time, until they -- hopefully, maybe -- quit? Allowing dissent to fester and morale to plunge, in the meantime?

It's a thought-provoking statement, and something we'll keep our eyes on. But it feels like a brutally inefficient way to go about things. Even for a corporate world that keeps finding ways to surprise us!


#DuhTalent #Irresistibility

When I take notes on the content I read about the world of work, I use tags to track different topics: #Wellness #Leadership #Inclusion #DuhTalent

"Duh Talent"?

Duh Talent, my friends, is content that satisfies two criteria: 1) you read it and go, "Duh, of course; who doesn't think that?" But 2) as you read it, you also know that for some reason, most of the corporate world doesn't or won't do that obvious thing.

"We should build a diverse team, diverse teams are stronger teams." -->#DuhTalent

"Our people are our most important asset" --> #DuhTalent

"Our managers should prioritize their hiring." --> #DuhTalent

It's the bizarre gap between what seems intuitive, obvious -- and helpful to the bottom line! -- and what constantly fails to materialize in practice.

The gist of this nugget 👆🏻from work guru Josh Bersin is, "There's a ton of uncertainty out there, but we do know this much: in a world starved for talent, the companies that choose the right people, grow them and listen to them will thrive and win".

I don't think you'll find a ton of people who'd quibble with that. The question is how many companies will take that path, whether or not the economy goes sideways?

Work moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
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