Tesla workers were ordered back to the office full-time by Elon Musk, and employees who weren’t pleased were urged to “pretend to work somewhere else.”
“Anyone who wishes to do remote work must be in the office for a minimum (and I mean *minimum*) of 40 hours per week or depart Tesla. This is less than we ask of factory workers,” Musk wrote in a terse email to corporate Tesla employees.
“If there are particularly exceptional contributors for whom this is impossible, I will review and approve those exceptions directly,” Musk continued. “Moreover, the ‘office’ must be a main Tesla office, not a remote branch office unrelated to the job duties.”
Screenshots of Musk’s email have been shared on Twitter. In response to a Twitter user who inquired about Musk’s thoughts for Tesla personnel that believe in-person work is “antiquated concept,” he slammed remote employees once again.
“They should pretend to work somewhere else,” said Musk.
Elon to Tesla team: no more remote work pic.twitter.com/aSmZAAOm7G
— Whole Mars Catalog (@WholeMarsBlog) June 1, 2022
Elon Musk’s edict follows a series of similar moves to reduce the number of contractors hired by his businesses. Other firms, including short-term leasing site Airbnb and social media platform Meta, are allowing many employees to work remotely full-time, confident that the policy will keep current workers satisfied while also attracting top talent.
On Twitter, Meta executive Dare Obasanjo, made a crack at Musk’s return to work crusade.
“A forced return to office policy during a renewed COVID surge sounds like a great way to create some attrition without the negative optics of a layoff,” Obasanjo added, who is Meta’s Horizon Worlds metaverse team lead.
“A forced return to office policy during a renewed COVID surge sounds like a great way to create some attrition without the negative optics of a layoff,” wrote Obasanjo, who’s lead product manager for Meta’s Horizon Worlds metaverse team.
Tesla employees just got this email requiring them to work from the office 40 hours a week.
A forced return to office policy during a renewed COVID surge sounds like a great way to create some attrition without the negative optics of a layoff. pic.twitter.com/2FfqiNAgMy
— Dare Obasanjo (@Carnage4Life) June 1, 2022
Many companies, including Apple and Google, are adopting hybrid schedules in which staff work three days per week from their homes.
Apple originally said it would have a three-day-per-week schedule in May, with the goal of having its iPhones and iPads ready for retail shelves by September 2020. However, Apple announced in May that it had pushed back its three-day-per-week deadline due to an increase in coronavirus cases. It also came after employees threatened to leave because they were required to come into work.
When Apple was criticized for delaying the release of a product, Musk mocked the decision with a meme depicting an overweight dog napping.
Musk has been named as the new CEO of Twitter, one of the first major technology firms to let workers work from home permanently. He also owns Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink, and The Boring Company. He has also accepted a contract to takeover Twitter, which was one of the first large technology companies to provide employees with this option.
On the corporate forum Blind, Twitter employees have criticized Musk’s attitude toward remote employment and wondered whether a takeover would result in a comparable stringent policy at the company.
“Most companies at least set a return day a couple months out to let employees prepare,” one Twitter employee said in response to Musk’s Tesla announcement. “Who just suddenly makes massive changes to an orgs work life with no warning.”
In April, a Twitter employee wrote that Musk may “rule” with an “iron fist” at the company and predicted that forcing workers back to the office would result in “even more attrition.”
Elon Musk has already mocked employees who work remotely, suggesting that the business should convert its San Francisco facility into a homeless shelter since so few people use it.