Remote ‘work’ is great for deteriorating work culture, lowering productivity, and wasting time

As a group of Apple employees launch a petition against returning to actual work in the office for three whole days a week, studies show that remote “work” is great for deteriorating a company’s work culture, lowering productivity, and wasting time.

Apple Park in Cupertino, California
Apple Park in Cupertino, California

Last week, CEO Tim Cook set a September 5th deadline for workers to be in the office at least three days a week, the latest of multiple, uh, fruitless attempts by the tech company to get employees back to real work in person.

Tristan Bove for Fortune:

Employees against the return to office order claim they are able to work just as efficiently and productively at home, but that might not be strictly true.

Remote workers are wasting up to 67 minutes a day doing menial and unnecessary tasks just to prove to their supervisors that they are actually virtually engaged with their work, according to a July report from Qatalog and GitLab.

In what the authors coined “digital presenteeism,” more and more remote workers are feeling pressured into proving to their superiors that they are visibly online, and in doing so are adding an average of 5.5 redundant work hours a week to their regular schedules.

Remote work may also have contributed to deteriorating work culture and consequently lower productivity for certain employees, according to another recent study published in MIT Sloan Management Review.

The study’s authors found that remote work is leading to a higher number of less-important meetings that have a bearing on worker happiness and potentially productivity.

MacDailyNews Take: Because Tim Cook, Deidre O’Brien, and Apple’s other assorted “management” doormats don’t seem to grasp how to deal with petulant children, here’s how it’s done, via Elon Musk:

Subject: To be super clear

Everybody:

Everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week. Moreover, the office must be where our actual colleagues are located, not some remote pseudo office. If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned.

The more senior you are, the more visible must be your presence. That is why I lived in the factory so much – so that those on the line could see me working alongside them. If I had not done that, Tesla would long ago have gone bankrupt.

There are of course companies that don’t require this, but when was the last time they shipped a great new product? It’s been a while.

Tesla has and will create and actually manufacture the most exciting and meaningful products of any company on Earth. This will not happen by phoning it in.

Thanks,

Elon

See also:

• Group of Apple workers launch petition against return-to-office mandate – August 22, 2022
• Apple orders staff to back to work in office three days per week in bid to boost productivity – August 16, 2022
Elon Musk mocks Apple over yet another return-to-work delay – May 19, 2022
• Apple delays plan to have workers return to office three days a week – May 17, 2022
• Some Apple employees bristle as three-day office return looms – April 29, 2022

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37 Comments

      1. I would just say, “I identify as an at-home worker.” Additionally, as a progressive, shouldn’t we conclude that the Boomer propensity of working from home is stuck in last decade?

        1. Boomers aren’t the ones who are reluctant to go back to the office. Half of the Boomers have already retired. It’s everyone younger than us who are reluctant to go back to a system that may no longer be necessary for certain jobs, certain industries and certain products.

          1. Get over yourself guy writing FALSE opinions.

            “Despite the millions of older workers [Baby Boomers] who have fled the labor force in the past two years, FEW have signaled a permanent exit. Whether they were ejected from their jobs or left voluntarily, most have yet to tap their Social Security benefits, explaining in surveys that they may yet reenter the workforce.” — Washington Post

            ~ 75 million Baby Boomers retiring by 2030

            ~ One in four workers in the U.S. is a Baby Boomer

            ~ Famous for their strong work ethic and dedication (40% have stayed with their employer for more than 20 years)

            ~ Baby Boomers commit to their jobs more than any OTHER generation

            The last data point certainly not so with younger Apple workers, especially Gen Z, may be their first job out of college.

            Meantime elsewhere in the real world, younger workers want guidance, on the job training the skills they need and in a recent survey reported wanting feedback and mentoring from their managers more frequently than their older colleagues.

            So sorry Apple snowflakes, not yet known for a strong work ethic thinking you know better from home. Time for a serious reality check!…

  1. As usual, MDN said it best:

    MacDailyNews, April, 29, 2022

    The only people who complain of having to go into the office to actually work for three whole days are, to use the scientific parlance: lazy assholes.

    So, Apple’s management should collectively grow a pair and promptly extend a parting cordiality to the “Apple Together” wannabe layabouts: Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

  2. South Park use to be so great, I wish they would take the gloves off and go after Biden like they did trump. Can you imagine all the great lost humor because they fear the consequence of going after the lefts scared cow…

    1. Offended by a lightweight satirical cartoon. Keep playin the victim, Cleetus.

      SoPa has always sucked, but it’s easy to see why immature low info would go for it. Don’t read any comics in a newspaper, they’d all be too much for you.

  3. We all have talked with the people who just phone it in. They all admit to fucking off most of the day. Playing video games and getting drunk etc. don’t act like people who have to work in the plant don’t know what goes on remotely. I have friends and family members that all tell me it’s a party out there working remote.

    1. You somehow think those people were any more productive in some office cubicle? Diligent workers get their jobs done regardless of where they sit. Crappy employees are crappy wherever they are.

      1. Timmy needs to let his balls drop. Well we know that won’t happen. Elon will show the way. If only Steve was here too!

        The loser workers wouldn’t be any better in the office. They simply would get found out quickly instead of faking it from home.

        The culture at apple was once a sacred place to thrive. Apple university was keeping it alive. Now I fear that Apple will finally turn into microslop.

      2. “You somehow think those people were any more productive in some office cubicle?”

        By common sense deduction, GlassHollow mentioned the WFH goofing off class, of course those workers would be much more productive in any office cubicle with much needed supervision. Duh…

    2. Where do you work?

      In a real company, dead wood is trimmed. Competent management knows how to keep tabs on their employees.

      Why do you think your experience represents anyone else’s?

  4. I’ve worked from home for about 20 years, now retired. In my case I was mostly on the road visiting customers so this worked well. Anecdotally, I would say that while WFH worked well for me there were also some negatives. Being an employee is not just a matter of sitting at a machine 8 hours a day. Going to an office you interact with others, you get inspired by others, you learn from others, you also have a chance to inspire others, to teach others. I don’t know what is a good balance, but 3 days a week in the office for those who can do it sounds good.

  5. Total BS by a right wing site that works remote to promote his site !! Do you show up to an office to post your BS Apple crap? STFU!!! You are a remote worker too! So much BS Grimm this site ! Read and leave as soon as you can to deprive this Liar of his Ad revenue !! So much BS !! OMG !!!

    1. David! You are Dumb And Vindictive Indicating Dung. I have nothing to do with MDN so don’t you dare accuse me of being an MDN webmaster or such made up slop. If you hate this site and it’s founders so much, why don’t you just fffk off, permanently? What an ass you are. Deliberately Assholish and Very Impetuous Douchery.

  6. I’ve been WFH since well before 2020, my whole department has been. IME for most people, WFH is a net negative. That’s not to say all, some people can thrive WFH but IME more than 50% need to be in the office some of the time. WFH hurts mental health from both a work and personal perspective. Mental health causes physical health issues too. Worse, I’ve seen people get WFH addicted, actually fearing going into the office. May seem odd but it is true, colleagues who actually developed a fear of having to go into an office. I think it is just the human condition to adapt and disfavor change. But OTOH there are a minority of people who will actually produce more WFH. WFH you don’t socialize much. No Joe or Jane in the next cubicle. It’s all work. IME this is the workaholic type. Work is obsessive (no thanks to that).
    I expected companies would start requiring work in the office. But if companies will allow a few days WFH and only a few days in the office, I suspect this is a win for most people.

  7. It’s incredible how arrogant and flawed people can be. No, remote workers aren’t “less productive because they may be spending up to 67 minutes per day proving to their Supervisors they’re actually online”. When you compare even this highly suspect number to going into the office, how many hours a week do people spend commuting to and from work? Exactly, so total BS to this conclusion about remote work somehow being worse in this regard.

    Second, Musk is a relic who makes overpriced tin cans with huge panel gaps that handle like a tea cup in an ocean. Nobody will take any productivity lessons or product lessons from this idiot. The only reason Tesla has any success is because there are enough dumb people to pay absurd prices for a car and think somehow they’re saving the world.

    You’re dated if you think people should have their butts glued to a chair all day. Like somehow that will magically create value for you and your business. It won’t. Measure people’s results, not the number of hours they spend glued into a chair in some dusty building with a bunch of cubicles.

    1. Thank you! Someone actually gets it. The pandemic showed that a large number of people can do their jobs from home without the need to travel x amount of hours a day to get there.

      The idea that everyone needs to be sat at a desk to be productive is just ridiculous in this day and age. If you need hands on as part of your job then yes, a return to the workplace is inevitable but if you don’t and you worked remotely through the ‘pandemic’ without issue then there isn’t really an argument to go back to a 9-5 office enviroment other than out of touch management use the reason of ‘because I say so’

  8. The workforce is turning into lazy egotistical entitled gimme what I want kids. It’s not your company. Start your own and run it the way you want if you don’t like it. If you get paid you get told how to work. Get over yourselves.

    1. 🤣 As if these lazy Apple employees were capable of starting their own business (like MDN, by the way). It takes a work ethic to start and run a successful company.

      If these lazy Apple employees actually did something and somehow started their own company, I expect they’d have a much better understanding of where a paycheck comes from, costs of doing business, dealing with employees, paying taxes, etc.

      They might even wise up enough to vote correctly for a change.

      If these malcontents will not work as their employer expects, preferring the ease of turning on a Webex meeting while doing home improvements on Apple’s dime, Apple should immediately terminate them for insubordination and send a clear message to the rest of the workforce.

  9. As always, the truth is somewhere in between. Some people are better suited to WFH, as are some jobs. But not all.

    Musk had a war of words with an Aussie tech billionaire on the subject. Both we correct, in their own way.

    1. ⏫ This 100%

      The boss is called the boss for a reason. If told to get into work, you GET INTO WORK. If a week later it is reversed then you WFH. Unbelievable how twisted and spoiled modern workers are.

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