Daily Digest News – July 16, 2021

DAILY DIGEST JULY 16

Hand selected flexible workspace news from the most reliable sources to keep you ahead of the pack. We find all the latest news, so you don’t have to. Morning and afternoon updates. Stay in the know.


Here’s what you need to know today:


Apple Staff Unhappy With Company’s Hybrid Policy

As many major tech companies embrace the idea of hybrid working, Apple’s attempt is being met with displeasure as workers claim that getting remote work requests approved is nearly impossible.

The company’s new policy requires employees to return to the office three days each week starting in September, and some workers are saying they will quit if Apple doesn’t update its arrangement.

Apple has long turned away from remote working arrangements, with very few exceptions. However, workers are saying even those exceptions are being denied.

In June, an employee-conducted internal survey showed that 36.7% of 1,735 respondents were worried about having to leave the company if they were not offered flexibility.

That same month, employees wrote a letter to Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, asking that he rethink the company’s hybrid policies. However, Deirdre O’Brien, senior vice president of retail and people, responded by stating that Apple would not be adjusting this approach.

A company Slack channel featuring 6,000 members advocating for remote work revealed around 10 people would be quitting or knew others who have been pushed to resign.

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UK Restrictions Are Being Lifted, But Are Companies Ready?

Next week, workers in England will no longer have government-enforced guidelines telling them to work from home, but business leaders aren’t exactly eager to disturb current arrangements, especially if they are working.

In London, even banks who have historically been proponents of in-person work are not going to bring employees back full capacity anytime soon. For instance, JPMorgan Chase’s England offices will require face masks, rotating schedules and maintain a 50% occupancy limit.

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    This vigilant approach is being seen across many businesses in the U.K. as the threat of the delta variant looms. Now, without any guidance from the government, companies are waiting until the end of the summer to bring workers back in.

    Even when employees do eventually return to the office, arrangements will look very different than they did pre-pandemic as companies reconfigure how their space is set up to accommodate a more flexible, hybrid future.

    “I don’t think we really see “return to the office day” as a big event in our London office,” a spokesperson for financial technology company Revolut stated.

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    Zoom Is Adapting To The Hybrid Work Trend

    Zoom quickly became the unexpected hero at the beginning of the pandemic, allowing people to connect with their loved ones and companies to continue operating.

    “I had more sleepless nights than at any other time in my career,” said Eric Yuan, founder and CEO of Zoom.

    In the short time between the pandemic becoming a threat and nearly the entire world shutting down, Zoom was thrusted into the spotlight and soon became intertwined into our daily vocabulary. In fact, at the start of the pandemic, Zoom’s daily meeting participants skyrocketed from 10 million users to over 300 million.

    Even now as workers slowly return to the office, virtual meetings are still expected to be a significant part of many companies’ operations. According to a survey of senior executives from CNBC, most companies are planning to transition to some form of hybrid policies.

    Yuan said that in preparation for the increasingly hybrid workforce, Zoom will be updating its tools to ensure companies are able to better communicate and collaborate when they aren’t in the same office.

    For instance, the company plans to incorporate smart galleries, AI-enabled meetings and virtual whiteboards to create more connected virtual meetings. 

    “From the beginning of Zoom we were asking, ‘how do we make the virtual experience as good, if not better, as in person,’” said Harry Moseley, chief information officer at Zoom.

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