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Musk to Tesla Employees: No Remote Work

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Elon Musk at this year’s Met Gala. | Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

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Elon Musk did not mince words when telling his workers at Tesla that remote work was no longer an option.

Musk sent an email to his executive staff that outlined requirements for office work.

“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,” the email stated.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, companies provided opportunities for employees to work from home, but as the country reopens, some leaders are urging their employees to return to the office.

Musk made his meaning clear in the email title: “Remote Work Is No Longer Acceptable.”

“This is less than we ask of our factory workers,” Musk continued. This is a possible nod to working conditions in Tesla’s factories in China. Chinese Tesla workers are working 12-hour days and sleeping on factory floors due to COVID lockdowns, according to a Zerohedge report.

Musk did leave room for exceptions to the rule.

“If there are particularly exceptional contributors for whom this is impossible, I will review and approve those exceptions directly,” Musk wrote.

In a follow-up email, Musk claimed his habits of “basically living” at the factory led to the success of Tesla.

“The more senior you are, the more visible must be your presence,” he wrote. “There are, of course, companies that don’t require this, but when was the last time they shipped a great new product? It’s been a while.”

Whole Mars Catalogue, a Twitter account that comments on Electric Vehicle news, retweeted an image of the email and asked Musk to comment on those that feel going to the office is an old idea.

“They should pretend to work somewhere else,” Musk replied.

Like Apple and Google, other companies are trying a hybrid approach in which employees come to the office for three days per week, the New York Post reported.

Airbnb and Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, provide 100% remote opportunities for their employees.

“A forced return to office policy during a renewed COVID surge sounds like a great way to create some attrition without the negative optics of a layoff,” Meta executive Dare Obasanjo posted on Twitter.

Musk is breaking off from other tech companies in his approach to the “new normal” we face. Rather than allow employees to work partially from home, Elon Musk stated in his second email, “If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned.”

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