The world’s richest man appears to be fed up with working entirely from home, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk has taken a hard line against his employees who work from home.
Musk entered the discussion about returning to the office via Twitter by clarifying an email he sent to executives at the electric car maker that remote work was no longer acceptable.
“Anyone who wants to work remotely must be in the office for at least 40 hours a week or leave Tesla,” the CEO said in the email. This is less than what we ask of factory workers.
Musk did not deny the authenticity of the screenshot from the email. He wrote that anyone who disagrees with the office’s attendance policy should work elsewhere.
The CEO added in his email that he is willing to consider applications for remote work under certain circumstances. But he noted that such requests must be exceptional in order to be approved.
He wrote: “If there are exceptional contributors in particular for whom it is impossible to do so, I will review and approve those exceptions directly.” He said that working 40 hours in person is less than what we ask of factory workers.
In a second email, Elon Musk claimed that his history of almost living in a Tesla plant was the reason for the company’s survival.
He wrote: “Your presence must be more visible the greater your responsibilities.” There are companies that don’t ask for it, but when was the last time they shipped a new product?
Elon Musk warns Tesla managers
After the global pandemic has forced many companies to quickly introduce remote work policies, many are now evaluating how to get their employees back into the office.
Some, like Apple, are testing a hybrid approach that involves employees who only come to the office for part of the week. But Tesla’s hard-line stance makes it relatively different to the so-called new normal. “If you don’t show up, we’re assuming you’ve resigned,” Musk wrote.
It is reported that this is not the first time that Musk’s harsh treatment of employees has been shown. About two weeks before Musk reached a deal to acquire Twitter, Keith Rabois, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and venture capitalist, tweeted a story about his friend’s management style.
Musk once told a group of SpaceX interns walking around while waiting in line for coffee. Musk considered this an insult to productivity.
According to Rabois, who has known Musk from his PayPal days, Musk threatened to fire all interns if this happened again, and security cameras were installed to monitor compliance.