#glasselavators / Know the culture before taking the job.

The fight to retain work-from-home privileges has just begun. I am surprised by the group of Apple employees resisting coming back to work three days a week. Their culture has a symbiotic relationship to place for a long time. This was most certainly the case at 1 Infinite Loop and I have to imagine it’s even more so at Apple Park.

I can hear John now as if he’s reading his post:

Who are these people who took jobs at Apple not knowing the company’s on-site culture? Do they think Apple built a new $4 billion campus on a lark? Three days a week on-site and two days remote is a huge change for Apple.

Companies are not democracies, but the employees writing these letters sure seem to think Apple is one. It’s not, and if it were, the company would sink in a snap. Apple’s new “three days on-site” policy wasn’t a request for comments—it was a decision—and Tim Cook’s company-wide letter already leaves room for individual teams to adjust it to their own needs.

I get pushing back on returning to work at an old, stodgy Enterprise company where the workplace is not extraordinary. Apple Park is a huge exception. That place is like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory—you can’t replace that with a home office.

As for companies not being democracies, I wonder how long before a few more groups in Silicon Valley or Seattle, or Austin will try to stand up a union in response to returning to the workplace.