Apple employees refuse office return because it will make company ‘whiter, more male_freckle removal 1930

Joe Pinkstone·4 min read
Tim Cook - Scott Olson/Getty Images North America
Tim Cook - Scott Olson/Getty Images North America

Employees of the tech giant Apple are revolting against a plan to get staff back into the office for three days a week, claiming it will make the company “younger, whiter and more male-dominated”.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has said his proposed “hybrid working pilot” for US, Europe and UK employees is an attempt to balance the corporate benefits of in-office working with the personal advantages that working from home gives staff members.

A group of US-based Apple employees have formed an organisation dubbed “Apple Together” and claim the initiative is “only driven by fear”.

The unnamed staff have sent an open letter to the executives of the multi-trillion dollar company and give six reasons why they believe the plan to get back to the office will fail.

Chief among them are concerns that it will negatively impact diversity within the company.

“Apple will likely always find people willing to work here, but our current policies requiring everyone to relocate to the office their team happens to be based in, and being in the office at least three fixed days of the week, will change the make-up of our workforce,” the letter says.

“It will make Apple younger, whiter, more male-dominated, more neuro-normative, more able-bodied. In short, it will lead to privileges deciding who can work for Apple, not who’d be the best fit.”

Examples of these privileges include being born in the “right place”, being young and having a stay-at-home spouse.

Thus far, the letter is believed to have garnered around 200 signatures, roughly 0.1 per cent of the organisation’s 165,000 employees.

The stoutly anti-office stance of the letter is symptomatic of a wider conflict going on globally as staff and bosses wrestle with finding a new working norm in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic which saw most people forced to work from home if they could.

Companies are eager for staff to return to the office as they believe it is better for output, productivity and morale, whereas staff are reluctant to give up the new work-life balance gifted to them by repeated lockdowns.


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