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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. Certainly one of Apple’s highest-profile return-to-office detractors reportedly landed a brand new gig at Alphabet’s DeepMind, marking the newest 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 inner memo considered by Bloomberg Tuesday, the corporate stated it’s going to delay its three-day in-office work requirement set to take impact on Could 23. The memo reportedly cited the current uptick in covid-19 instances for the delay and didn’t present any laborious date for after 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 widespread areas.

On the identical time, ​​Ian Goodfellow, Apple’s former Director of Machine Studying, who dramatically left the corporate not less than 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 change marks a significant blow for Apple, an organization that’s struggled to appease employees at odds with its return to work technique. Goodfellow, who’s probably the most senior member identified to have jumped ship over distant work thus far, reportedly addressed the difficulty straight in a observe to employees obtained by The Verge’s Zoë Schiffer. “I consider strongly that extra flexibility would have been the perfect coverage for my workforce,” Goodfellow reportedly wrote.

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

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

Employees, greater than ever, are keen to ditch their corporations over office flexibility. In response to an April ADP report, almost two-thirds (64%) of U.S. employees served stated they’d take into account on the lookout for a brand new job in the event that they have been pressured to return to an workplace full time.

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

It’s value 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 staff to work from their workplace three days per week. That sounds fairly just like Apple’s proposal, although earlier studies recommend Google extra commonly 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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