Deirdre O’Brien: ‘We Believe That In-Person Collaboration Is Essential to our Culture and our Future’

From John Gruber at Daring Fireball:

And like I wrote a few weeks ago, it’s not that Apple’s leadership isn’t listening or hasn’t learned much from the last 16 months — they have, and this hybrid model is the result. But the decision was made, so there’s nothing to “back down” from.

These last few takes have come off as oddly defensive of a trillion dollar company that can make its own decisions and face the resulting criticism. This isn’t a case where Apple needs someone to defend their actions and explain them. It’s simply a big company making a decision which is in line with a lot of other (albeit less modern) companies. Large companies that have existed before the modern tech age have known in-person work, and it’s tough to change their minds – pandemic, or no. Other modern companies like Facebook, Twitter, etc have embraced remote work. They are newer, and aren’t carrying the baggage of those older ones who are more reticent to change.

Perhaps it’s defensiveness over thinking of Apple as “an older company” or “less tech savvy and modern” when compared to Facebook.

Not to be fooled, though, remote work is almost certainly going to follow the Hype Cycle to some degree.

It remains to be seen how low into the Trough of Disillusionment remote work falls, and where the Plateau of Productivity lands. We could all be working remotely in 10 years; or remote work could disappear entirely. Most likely is that remote work remains, and some percentage of us are doing it. What percentage? That’s the interesting question.