'Come to office or quit': Elon Musk tells Tesla employees
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has taken a hardline stance against remote work. In a series of emails sent to employees, Musk has asked Tesla employees to return to the office or be terminated. The employees must spend at least 40 hours per week in the office. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is subsiding, several companies have asked their employees to return to the office.
Why does this story matter?
- Musk is known as a man who embraces controversy. Therefore, it is unsurprising that he took an extreme position against remote work.
- The argument that executives should spend at least 40 hours/week in their place of work while factory workers spend a lot more is a sound one. However, the impact of the email will depend on how his employees react to this.
Some companies have decide to take a 'hybrid' approach
After the global pandemic hit in 2020, companies around the world introduced remote working policies. Many have now accepted that work-from-home does not affect the productivity of employees. Some, like Apple, are considering a hybrid approach where employees go to the office for part of the week. There are others, like Tesla, who want to have the employees back in the office.
Employees should be in the office for 40 hours/week
As companies around the world try to get employees back into the office through incentives, Musk has taken the 'my way or the highway' stance. Musk said, "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 will review and approve exceptions himself
The Tesla CEO is not a man without reason, as he made it clear that there can be exceptions to the 40 hours/week rule. However, only "exceptional contributors" can seek that. He said, "I will review and approve those exceptions directly." In all probability, Musk's direct involvement in the process will stop employees from asking for exceptions.
Not showing up for work will amount to quitting
In a second email with the subject line "To be super clear," Musk made it clear that those who do not show up for work will be considered to have resigned. He asked senior executives to show their presence more than others. The CEO even alluded to the time he "lived in the factory" to drive the point home.
Musk mocked companies that still promote remote work
No email of Musk is complete without a sly dig. In his typical fashion, the billionaire took a shot at companies that continue to promote remote work. He said, "when was the last time they shipped a great new product? It's been a while." He then said that the creation and manufacture of exciting products "will not happen by phoning it in."