Jessica Lessin, reporting for The Wall Street Journal, says Apple is allowing a select group of employees spend up to two weeks working on projects outside of their normal job description.
It’s similar to Google’s 20% time, which lets employees spend 20% of their time on side projects that could end up helping Google.
Lessin cautioned it was a “far cry” from what Google does. It’s limited to a small group of employees at Apple.
There aren’t currently a lot of details about how the program, with the reported moniker of “Blue Sky,” works. It’s unclear right now if it allows employees to spend time on their own projects, or if they are assigned to work with other groups on a temporary basis.
Lessin’s article focuses on how the corporate culture of Apple has changed since Tim Cook took the helm as CEO. Cook is more accepting of sabbaticals, lauds employees at Apple media events, and the company is more frequently giving counteroffers to employees that are considering job offers from other companies.
Apple’s managers have long ignore the perks, such as free lunches, that have become standard at other Silicon Valley firms. They’ve always held the belief that the opportunity to work at the company on its popular products was enough of an incentive to stay with Apple.
However, under the hand of Tim Cook Apple is showing signs of becoming more employee friendly.