As Apple and other major tech companies postpone their planned return to physical offices, a study has found that workers in the United States would give up a lot to keep their distance.
As previously reported by ZDNet, GoodHire this week published a survey of 3,500 employees in the US and found that just over two-thirds of them would rather work remotely than in the office.
Furthermore, 70 percent of those people said they would give up most or all of their benefits, such as health insurance and vacations, in order to work remotely. Sixty-one percent say they would take a pay cut to make it happen. Most said they would get a 10 percent pay cut, but some claimed they would even accept half their current salary in exchange for remote work.
That may sound like a shot in the foot, but given that employees can work completely remotely from wherever they want — and San Jose’s cost of living is estimated to be 160 percent of St. Louis’s — a 50 percent pay cut is likely. percent might not be so outrageous to some.
Late last week, Bloomberg reported that Apple HR chief Deirdre O’Brien had just announced to employees that Apple’s plans to return to offices would be delayed from October of this year to January 2022, following an earlier delay from September to October. . Apple told employees they will be notified a month in advance when they return to work.
When that return happens, the company’s leadership plans to allow employees to work from home two days a week and ask for up to two weeks at home a year for longer stints. But employees would still have to live near the expensive cities where Apple operates to get to the office most of the time.
(This also means it’s likely that Apple’s upcoming public events for the 2021 iPhones and other new products will be completely virtual again.)
As we wrote earlier this month, some tech companies are embroiled in battle as they push to get employees back to their desks. An initial wave of optimism that the pandemic would soon be largely over — at least in high-vaccination areas, where many of these tech companies are based — has subsided. Instead, the sometimes asymptomatic vaccinates can spread COVID-19 to the vulnerable unvaccinated, variants rampage through unvaccinated populations and cases are generally increasing in most parts of the country.
Each company has taken a different path, but Apple’s approach has been more conservative than many. Meanwhile, the workers’ response seemed more public and organized than some other major tech companies. With the delay to January, part of that debate has been postponed. But if studies like this tell us anything, it’s that Apple has a steep road ahead if it wants to retain talent while going back to pre-pandemic ways of working, whenever that happens.