Remote Work: Is it truly the way forward? Elon Musk doesn’t think so… Source: Forbes. Also read emails from Elon Musk, ex Twitter

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Musk Says Tesla Staff Can ‘Pretend To Work Somewhere Else’ Following Leaked Emails Ending Remote Work

Anna Kaplan

Forbes Staff

I cover breaking news at Forbes.

Jun 1, 2022,10:05am EDT


  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk apparently sent an email to the electric car company’s executive staff—which was shared on social media on Wednesday—that nixed working from home, saying anyone wishing to work remotely must work from the office “for a minimum (and I mean *minimum*) of 40 hours a week,” or they must depart the company.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk attends the start of the production at Tesla's ″Gigafactory.″
Tesla CEO Elon Musk attends the start of the production at Tesla’s “Gigafactory” on March 22, 2022 … [+] POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Key Facts

Responding to a tweet about the email leak, Musk did not confirm or deny it, but suggested it was authentic, writing, “They should pretend to work somewhere else.”

Under the subject line “Remote work is no longer acceptble” [sic], Musk wrote the 40-hour requirement is “less than we ask of factory workers.”

  • Musk said the office must be “a main Tesla office, not a remote branch office unrelated to the job duties,” and gave an example of a worker living in a different state from a factory they are responsible for.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request from Forbes to verify the email.

Crucial Quote

“Everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week,” Musk wrote in a follow-up email, obtained by Electrek. “Moreover, the office must be where your actual colleagues are located, not some remote pseudo office. If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned.”

Key Background

  • Tesla initially allowed employees to work from home if they felt unsafe working in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, but reversed course—defying county orders in California—and ramped up production at a Tesla factory in May 2020. Musk came under fire when he said employees who did not return to work would be fired a month later. Tech companies are weighing how to bring employees back to the office, with Google and Apple starting hybrid options. Musk weighed in on Apple’s policy last month, sharing a lazy dog meme in response to an article on Apple delaying return to the office.

What To Watch For

Twitter has a permanent remote work policy—but if Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of the company goes through, it could change. Keith Rabois, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist and entrepreneur, said in a tweet in April Twitter employees are in for a “rude awakening,” and shared a story of when Musk caught a group of SpaceX interns waiting in line for coffee. Rabois said Musk threatened to fire all of the interns and installed security cameras.

Big Number

$229.7 billion. That’s Musk’s net worth, according to Forbes’ real-time wealth tracker, making him the richest person in the world.

Further Reading

Elon Musk Drops Margin Loan From Twitter Bid, Making It A Little Less Risky (Forbes)

Billionaires Elon Musk And Jeff Bezos Have Lost $124 Billion This Year (Forbes)

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Emails from Twitter source

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