Apple is locked in a standoff with some of its own employees over returning to the office after the iPhone maker insisted staff work on site three days a week.

The tech giant has issued a memo to employees reiterating its belief that its staff work better on its products when in the office.

But some Apple employees have opposed the change and claimed that some are being forced to quit rather than come back into work.

In a video message sent to Apple employees, Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and people, said: “We believe that in-person collaboration is essential to our culture and our future.

“If we take a moment to reflect on our unbelievable product launches this past year, the products and the launch execution were built upon the base of years of work that we did when we were all together in-person.” 

Staff could request more home working, but this would be approved “on a case-by-case basis with any new remote positions requiring executive approval”. The Verge first reported the note.

Apple staff will be expected to work in the office Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays starting in September, Tim Cook told employees earlier in June, with some staff expected in full time.

It comes after Apple staff complained they had been “unheard and ignored” over the company’s work from home policy.

In the letter, staff said Apple’s policies had “already forced some of our colleagues to quit”.

“Without the inclusivity that flexibility brings, many of us feel we have to choose between either a combination of our families, our well-being, and being empowered to do our best work, or being part of Apple.” An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

Tech giants have been grappling with how to encourage employees back to the office, while others in Silicon Valley have completely embraced remote working.

Social network Twitter and payments company Square both told their thousands of staff they could work from home indefinitely.

But Apple, Google and Amazon have tried to push staff back to the daily commute and the office water cooler.

Google had attempted to compel employees to return to the office three days per week, but later said 20pc could work from home permanently and 20pc in new office locations. Amazon had said it expected a return to “office centric” work, but then allowed staff the option to work two days per week remotely.

Facebook, however, has said it will allow any staff who can work from home to continue to do so. Mark Zuckerberg, its chief executive, said he expected to spend half his time working remotely in 2022.