Apparently frustrated with the amount of time Tesla staff is working remotely, CEO Elon Musk has set a new threshold for how many hours per week everyone should be spending in the office.
In an email sent to the executive team yesterday afternoon with the subject line “Remote work is no longer acceptble,” Musk doesn’t rule out remote work entirely, but says anyone who wishes to do so still needs to be in the office a minimum of 40 hours per week.
Musk rationalized this figure by saying it is less than the company requires of its factory workers.
If there are specific situations where this might not be possible, Musk said that he will personally consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis, but only for “exceptional contributors.”
Showing how strong his convictions are with this minimum threshold, Musk added that if an executive can’t agree with these terms, then they can “depart Tesla.”
UPDATE 7:45am PST: Musk sent a second follow up email to all staff, a copy of which was obtained by Drive Tesla. The email is titled “To be super clear” and goes on to say that “everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week.” He also references the time he spent living at the Fremont factory and how Tesla won’t be able to create the “most exciting and meaningful products of any company on Earth” by “phoning it in.” The second email has been added below.
The email was leaked last night by @SamNissim on Twitter. It was later shared by @WholeMarsBlog, who asked Musk about people who think in-office requirements are no longer necessary given the recent shift to remote work.
Musk’s response gave us a glimpse into why he wrote the email, saying “They should pretend to work somewhere else.”
Two years after the COVID-19 outbreak first began, many companies are now requiring employees to return to the office, either full-time or using a phased approach to gradually increase the number of days in the office.
It hasn’t always gone over well, most notably with Apple who asked employees to return to the office just one day per week in April. There was a lot of pushback, with some employees quitting their jobs to work at other companies that still embraced remote work.
However, asking your executive team to commit to working in the office is not an unreasonable request. Tesla is one of the most valuable companies in the world, and being an executive comes with a lot of responsibilities, and expectations to deliver exceptional results.