The CEO of a self-described anti-”woke” job board site is facing ridicule online after he criticized employees who continue to work from home, telling them to “find an in-office job” and stop “working at home in your basement alone.” RedBalloon CEO Andrew Crapuchettes wrote in a LinkedIn post last week that people who continue to work remotely need to realize they are not “winning” and get back into the office. RedBalloon’s own employees all work from the office, according to Crapuchettes’s post, and the company makes clear where it stands on the issue on its website. “It’s time to grow up and get back to work,” the company states on the homepage alongside an image featuring children making sarcastic comments about pronouns and diversity initiatives.
Not everyone agrees. After Crapuchettes’s post found its way onto Reddit this week, people mocked Crapuchettes’s position. “I know EXACTLY what I’m ‘missing,’ having worked most of my adult life in the office up until a few years ago, one person wrote. In recent years, a small but growing number of companies have made headlines for taking hardline stances against what they see as the liberal politics of mainstream corporations, often with the goal of increasing worker productivity based on the idea that diversity and equity initiatives are a "distraction" that is bad for business. Tech companies like Basecamp and Coinbase even took the explicit step of banning non-work-related political debate in the office. But the Idaho-based RedBalloon has gone further than most, carving out a niche as a job board site for conservatives by recruiting more than 2,000 employers who value “free speech and medical privacy” to list their jobs on the site. “Find a good job, without the woke nonsense,” the company says on its website. Motherboard reached out to Crapuchettes to ask if he counted a pro-remote work stance among the positions he considered to be “woke.” In an emailed statement, the CEO said that while he personally preferred in-person work, he understood that remote work sometimes “cannot be avoided,” nodding to the fact that some of the conservative organizations that post jobs on his site advertise remote jobs. As such, he ruled: “Remote work is not necessarily a woke policy.” Employers of all stripes have pushed to bring employees back into the office after the pandemic normalized remote work for millions of former office workers, leading to an awkward tussle between employees and management. RedBalloons' various anti-"woke" stances often align with the desires of bosses of all political persuasions seeking to discipline their labor force. RedBalloon has published an employee bill of rights for conservative workers that rails against "woke" workplaces and includes "duties" that it considers God-given."Just as our rights come from our Creator, so do our duties," the pamphlet states. Such duties include putting in your best efforts at work no matter "how low the pay," and to "make sacrifices." It says workers must avoid "stealing time (i.e., wages) from your employer" by taking “excessive breaks" and lingering “over lunch if you are on the clock." Remote workers, it says, must avoid the temptation to "pad [their] time."