The wave of layoffs of those who do not want to abandon remote work

empty office chair

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During the pandemic, many workers said they would quit if their employers forced them to return to the office. In March, Robert Half, a global recruiting firm, released a survey that found that 50% of American workers would rather quit than be forced back into the office full-time.

In early May, a high-ranking executive put this into practice: Apple’s head of machine learning, Ian Goodfellow, resigned due to the Silicon Valley giant’s return-to-office policy. The company began bringing back workers one day a week starting April 11, then two days on May 2, with an increase to three mandatory days starting May 23. Goodfellow didn’t go along with the plan—and called it quits. (Apple did not respond to the BBC’s request for comment; nor has it publicly commented on Goodfellow’s resignation.)

Perhaps Goodfellow’s departure was not surprising — at least not among Apple employees. A recent survey of more than 650 Apple employees on the anonymous survey site Blind revealed that 76% of respondents were dissatisfied with the company’s plans to return to the office; 56% said they would consider quitting because of it.

But outside the company, experts aren’t surprised either.

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