Over 200 employees at Apple Inc. have signed and published an open letter to the technology giant’s executive team on Friday, arguing that a return to in-person work isn’t in the best interest of the company because it’s racist.
“Our vision of the future of work is growing further and further apart from that of the executive team,” the letter reads.
A move away from the current work-from-home setup would make Apple’s workforce younger, whiter, male-dominated, and less diverse because in-person work exacerbates a set of privileges, employees argue.
The letter comes amid Apple’s soft launch return to the office that would require employees to come in Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Employees can work from home for the remainder of the week and workers can take four weeks out of the year to work from any location they desire.
“Privileges like ‘being born in the right place so you don’t have to relocate,’ or ‘being young enough to start a new life in a new city/country’ or ‘having a stay-at-home spouse who will move with you,’’ the letter reads.
“And privileges like being born into a gender that society doesn’t expect the majority of care-work from, so it’s easy to disappear into an office all day, without doing your fair share of unpaid work in society. Or being rich enough to pay others to do your care-work for you.”
The signatories hope Apple will scrap the hybrid program entirely and allow employees to work from their residences in perpetuity—or, as they put it, allow employees to make that decision for themselves.
In addition to objections based on diversity and privilege, the letter also outlines five other reasons: serendipity, collaboration, flexibility, commute, and a chance to prove the effectiveness of remote-work technologies.
At the end of the letter, employees call on Apple Executives to show an increased level of flexibility.
“Now we ask you, the executive team, to show some flexibility as well and let go of the rigid hybrid policies of the Hybrid Working Pilot. Stop trying to control how often you can see us in the office. Trust us, we know how each of our small contributions helps Apple succeed and what’s required to do so.”
Apple’s leadership has yet to respond publicly to the letter.