Not too long ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made it pretty clear that he wants employees to return to the office. It seemed his message was primarily directed at executives. However, according to recent reports, there's very little office space left at Tesla's factory in Fremont, California, and Musk intends for more than just the top brass to return.
According to an article by our friends at Teslarati, the report lists several other issues allegedly shared by employees. It suggests that there aren't enough parking spaces, which has been an issue in the past, the Wi-Fi isn't fast enough for high-level productivity, and there's not enough desk space.
For people who worked in the office for years and then ended up at home, this type of situation is not uncommon. Some people have become comfortable working from home, they're saving money by not commuting, and they may have set up their own space organised to their liking. Many of our friends purchased new, more powerful computers and upgraded their internet at some point over the course of the pandemic.
Fremont has some 22,000 employees, and some reportedly spoke with journalists at The Information. The article provides direct quotes from some workers at Tesla. Employees point out that 22,000 people simply can't all work a full 40 hours onsite. They noted that it seemed Musk just wanted executives to adhere to the new policy, but now they're sharing that he intends for most employees to return to the office.
Tesla has had concerns with space at the Fremont factory for years, and it continues to expand production. Let's not forget that Tesla moved at least one assembly line to a tent-like structure, which was supposed to be temporary. However, now it's permanent, and there's been talk of expanding the factory further, though there's not a whole lot of extra space.
Teslarati also noted that analysts from Morgan Stanley have confirmed that not only is manufacturing and production space at the California factory limited, but also office and desk space. Increasing production requires more workers, and at some point, there's just no capacity remaining. Adam Jonas said in March that Fremont:
“was never designed to produce 450k units (at its peak produced ~300k units before Tesla took it over from Toyota) which was immediately apparent at the tour.”
Tesla has already opened larger factories and moved its world headquarters from California to Texas. It seems the company is also already planning to expand further, not only at existing locations, but also by adding additional factories.
Interestingly, some of the employees told the publication that after their complaints, they were told by management to come in fewer than five days per week since there's just not enough space or facilities.