Apple employees are currently moving into Apple Park, the company’s new $US5 billion headquarters in Cupertino, California.
Everything about the “spaceship” campus has been carefully considered, according to a slew of press features on the office building.
Entryways have been designed so engineers don’t need to slow down while walking, and the campus has custom-designed banisters, tables, and even a four-story glass door.
But there’s going to be one big change to how rank-and-file Apple engineers work at the spaceship: Apple Park has an open-floor plan, WSJ Magazine reported last month. That means a lot of engineers will be working on long tables with other engineers, instead of in cubicles or offices.
Now there are rumours that some teams and executives are not fans of the shiny new office complex’s open office plan.
The latest was shared by John Gruber, an Apple podcaster and blogger who frequently cites Apple insiders as “birdies.”
He passed on the rumour in a podcast published on Sunday:
“Here’s the story I heard that I cannot confirm because it was thirdhand. I cannot confirm it, it could be totally false, but it sounds true to me. And I think it could be easily checked, because if it’s true, people will know about this.”
“I heard that when floorplans were announced, that there was some, I don’t know, meeting, Johny Srouji’s team, he’s in charge of Apple’s silicon, the A10, the A11, all of their custom silicon, obviously a very successful group at Apple, and a large and growing one with a lot on their shoulders.”
“When he was shown the floorplans, he was more or less just ‘F— that, f— you, f— this, this is b——-.’ And they built his team their own building, off to the side on the campus. So they’re not even in, not only are they not going along with the open floor plans, but Sroji’s team is in their own building. Maybe internally they’re saying it’s for security, or that’s there’s a logical reason for it, but my understanding is that that building was built because Sroji was like, ‘F– this, my team isn’t working like this.'”
The discussion of Apple’s new campus starts at about 1:10 and the quoted part starts at about 1:24.
This is the second time a big group inside Apple has reportedly passed on a spot at Apple Park.
Apple’s cloud services teams under executive Eddy Cue have reportedly claimed Apple’s old headquarters, named Infinite Loop, as employees vacate it to move to Apple Park. That report from 2016 said that Apple employees used to privacy and a quiet work environment may be potentially upset by the open floor plans.
Apple’s top executives, including CEO Tim Cook, will have offices on the fourth floor of Apple Park.
There will be plenty of corporate Apple employees who don’t end up in the Spaceship, which will hold 13,000 employees. Apple has about 25,000 employees in Silicon Valley, according to an estimate recently cited by the city of Cupertino.