Tech billionaire Elon Musk has taken the work-from-home phenomenon into his crosshairs, telling Tesla executives to get back to the office or get out, according to a leaked email whose authenticity he seemed to confirm in a tweet.
“Remote work is no longer acceptble” [sic], reads the subject line of the leaked May 31 email, which was shared by the @WholeMarsBlog Twitter account and which bears Musk’s name in the “from” field and is addressed to Tesla “ExecStaff.”
The @WholeMarsBlog account then asked Musk for a reaction by replying to one of his unrelated posts, asking him for “any additional comment to people who think coming into work is an antiquated concept?”
Musk then appeared to confirm the authenticity of the message by replying to the post with the comment: “They should pretend to work somewhere else.”
The Tesla executives that Musk’s apparent missive is meant for will be required to be in the office for a full 40-hour workweek or face dismissal.
“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 says.
Musk’s message went on to specify that it “must be a main Tesla office, not a remote branch office unrelated to the job duties, for example being responsible for Fremont factory human relations, but having your office be in another state.”
Exceptions might be made for “particularly exceptional contributors for whom this is impossible,” Musk said, adding that he would review these personally on a case-by-case basis.
Musk’s tweet elicited a gushing response by the @WholeMarsBlog account, which hailed Tesla “a place where brilliant people work hard on changing the world,” while tossing a barb at established carmakers: “If you’re not into working hard, legacy auto is hiring.”
Musk, who is widely seen as a driven corporate leader with an uncompromising work ethic, has before made remarks that show he sets the bar high for staff.
Earlier in May, the Tesla chief shared an article reporting that job interest in Twitter had skyrocketed by over 250 percent since Musk announced his plans to buy the social media giant, saying the company under his leadership would be “super focused on hardcore software engineering, design, infosec & server hardware.”
He then added a note on his expectations for employee diligence.
“Also, work ethic expectations would be extreme, but much less than I demand of myself,” he wrote.
Back in 2018, Musk told Recode Decode host Kara Swisher in an interview that, for a while, he was working 120-hour weeks to boost Tesla Model 3 production, but was later back to a more “manageable” 80–90 hours.