Multi-billionaire Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc., is tired of his employees doing remote work. He has ordered employees to return to the office–or quit.
Spouting the capitalist fatwa–or ruling–against work-from-home staffers, Musk disclosed the company policy for the electronic car giant in leaked emails Musk sent to Tesla’s executive staff on May 31. Electric vehicle news site Electrek was the first to report the news.
“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. This is less than we ask of factory workers,” Musk wrote.
Musk added that the office must be the employee’s primary workplace where the other workers they regularly interact with are based — “not a remote branch office unrelated to the job duties,” CNN reported.
“Tesla has and will create and actually manufacture the most exciting and meaningful products of any company on Earth,” Musk wrote. “This will not happen by phoning it in.”
While there may be some exceptions, if approved by Musk himself, Musk told his workers, “If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned.”
At the beginning of 2022, Tesla had 100,000 workers worldwide. Up until Musk ended remote work, the automaker advertised about 100 remote jobs on its career site. They have since been deleted, Tech Target reported.
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Meanwhile, Twitter, the social media platform Musk is attempting to buy, supports the remote work concept. In fact, Twitter’s permanent remote-work policy is considered one of the most flexible among U.S. tech companies. If Musk does take over Twitter, this could all change.
Many say Musk’s insistence that his workers be in an office is antiquated.
The majority of office workers prefer the option to work from home, found a survey done by Pew Research Center. Black workers, in particular, prefer to work at home, found another study. An October 2021 survey of more than 10,000 workers from Future Forum, a research group focused on workplace issues, found that 66 percent of Black respondents want a flexible schedule, compared to 59 percent of white workers, CBS reported. Black workers are happier in their jobs when working remotely, the survey found. Many of the respondents said at home that they don’t have to deal with office politics, racism, and microaggressions in the office setting.
There have been claims of workplace racism at Tesla.
Jurors in October 2021 found that Tesla had subjected Black elevator operator Owen Diaz to a hostile environment at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, by allowing and failing to stop the racism he faced. The award was drastically reduced on April 13 to $15 million.
Photo: Elon Musk attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” exhibition on May 2, 2022, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)