Internal Power Balance Shift and Crises
In the last few months, a number of different brands and corporations in the tech industry have undergone a noticeable shift in employee culture. Everything started when the US finally started rolling out the Covid-19 vaccines, which promised to put an end to the pandemic, as well as remote work altogether. However, just as with the vaccines, not all people took the news of returning to working in office spaces positively, and a number of employees in tech companies started organizing and looking for ways to continue working remotely.
Thousands of tech workers around the country found it preferable to work from home, with a more flexible working environment, instead of going back to their offices. One of the loudest groups of tech employees were at Apple, that sent an anonymous email to the CEO himself, Tim Cook after he made an announcement that Apple’s offices would be reopening in September.
Ever since the company was first founded, back in 1976, the tech corporation has been operating the same way – the executives made decisions on how the company would function, while the employees would follow those orders, or leave. However, that company culture has slowly been shifting, and the pandemic brought about the biggest change, as a number of employees started organizing internally to change the culture. Additionally, a number of Apple employees have also started to speak out about the working conditions at the company on social media.
The power balance at Apple has slowly been shifting, as employees have stopped fearing that they’d lose their jobs. This is because the global culture has also been shifting, and when an employee speaks out about their employer and gets fired as a result, it looks bad for the company itself, instead of the employee.
Aside from the pandemic, the change has been happening because Apple, along with other tech companies haве started using Slack, instead of using the old internal communication platforms. Slack allows all employees to communicate across the company, instead of not giving employees an opportunity to communicate with people outside of their team or their department.
The changes haven’t been contained to Apple – recently, Google employees decided to stage major walkouts in protest of the corporation’s handling of internal sexual harassment. Amazon’s warehouse employees started to unionize, while the employees at Facebook seemingly spent months throughout the pandemic leaking their grievances of the workplace environment to various press outlets.
However, this is the first time Apple’s employees have spoken out so openly, largely due to the company’s work culture, which puts a lot of value on privacy and secrecy. Unfortunately, while all this has been happening, Apple has been largely quiet about its workplace issues. The corporation finally made a public announcement toward the end of August, stating that it would delay the return to office work at least until January 2022, due to a rise in Covid-19 cases. While employees can be happy for the time being regarding working remotely, it remains to be seen how Apple decides to respond to other issues workers have publicly raised recently.