Many people around the world seem to have become quite content with working from home, and many companies are still allowing it. Not long ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk mentioned that Twitter should offer its headquarters as a homeless shelter since he says no one actually goes to the office anymore. He's also recently credited China and its workers for their work ethic compared to employees in the US.
Fast-forward to this week, and a leaked email from Elon Musk to his executive team suggests that Tesla will no longer allow at least the top brass to work remotely until they've put in full-time hours at the office. The leaked email was first shared on Twitter by Sam Nissim (@SamNissim), a Tesla owner, shareholder, and FSD Beta tester.
As stated in the email, "Remote work is no longer acceptble." Perhaps Musk should have used spell check, but that's beside the point. Musk makes it clear that anyone planning on working remotely must put in at least 40 hours at the office, and he emphasises the "*minimum*" requirement. The CEO does admit that he may make exceptions, and he goes on to explain some ground rules.
Musk is certainly known for getting people talking, and this leaked email did the trick. It was shared by Whole Mars Catalog, which credited Sam Nissim, but Musk didn't immediately reply. Whole Mars shared it again later, as a reply to another tweet that Musk was already engaging. However, this time, the tweet started with a question for the CEO.
Whole Mars Catalog wrote:
"hey elon a lot of people are talking about this leaked email, any additional comment to people who think coming into work is an antiquated concept?"
Musk replied that such people should "pretend to work somewhere else."
Some commenters have noted that Tesla's executives could easily just leave and go work at a company like Google that allows remote work, and potentially pays more. If they do pack up and leave, one could argue that they must not have been very committed to Tesla or Musk in the first place.
Meanwhile, it comes as no surprise that others are once again suggesting that Musk is a mean and ruthless leader with no compassion. However, we have no idea how the CEO will handle individuals and their circumstances, as well as what exceptions he may make, and for which specific reasons.
To be clear, there are loads of other companies that require people (and especially leaders) to come to work each day. While the pandemic did force major changes – some of which almost appear to be permanent – it's actually very normal for people to have to go to work, and that's likely something most employees consider and expect when they take most jobs. However, we have no way of knowing Tesla's rules and whether or not they've changed over time.
We should also note that things could get really interesting if and when Musk acquires Twitter and potentially takes control of the reins. After his earlier comment about using the headquarters as a homeless shelter, Musk may be suggesting that he thinks Twitter employees should return to the office as well. We'll have to wait and see how it all plays out.