Elon Musk says staff that don’t stop working from home should ‘depart Tesla’ in leaked email
Wednesday - 01/06/2022 13:35
The world’s richest man has reportedly told staff they should leave the company if they won’t abide by a new rule.
Elon Musk has issued a threat to his senior managers, reportedly telling them they can “depart Tesla” if they don’t return to the office full-time.
The diktat from the world’s richest man came in a leaked email which he appeared to later confirm was genuine. He replied to a tweet questioning the plan by saying employees who didn’t wish to come back to the office for at least 40 hours a week should “pretend to work somewhere else”.
In recent months, Musk has railed against what he sees as a poor work ethic in the US, despite the average American working longer hours than most first-world countries.
The Tesla chief has praised Chinese workers for “burning the 3am oil”.
On Tuesday, a Twitter account in the name of Sam Nissim tweeted a screenshot of what appeared to be an email from Musk to his executives.
“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.
“This is less than we ask of factory workers”.
Given a five-day working week of eight hours per day equals 40 hours, that would leave little time to actually work from home.
“If there are particularly exceptional contributors for whom this is impossible, I will review and approves this exceptions directly,” the email continued.
“Moreover the office must be a main Tesla office, not a remote branch office unrelated to the job duties.”
The email used the example of a human resources manager for the Tesla factory in Fremont, near San Francisco. It would be unacceptable for them, for instance, to do their job away from Fremont, Musk said.
It was not clear if the email only demanded executives return to the office or them and all their staff as well.
The original post was retweeted by an account called Whole Mars Catalog, which asked: “Hey Elon, any additional comment to people who think coming into work is an antiquated concept?”
“They should pretend to work somewhere else,” Musk replied early on Wednesday morning, although he didn’t directly confirm the email was authentic.
The US has some of the loosest workplace laws in the developed world. Most staff can be fired for no reason whatsoever, the only recourse for the employee would be if they could prove their sacking was motivated by discrimination – for example if they were let go because of their race, gender, disability or sexuality.
As such, Tesla would largely be allowed to rid itself of staff who didn’t come back into work for 40 hours a week.
Musk’s swipe at US workers
Last month, Musk took a swipe at the work ethic of Americans in a discussion at a conference on the future of cars, organised by UK newspaper the Financial Times.
“There’s just a lot of super talented and hardworking people in China that strongly believe in manufacturing,” he told the FT.
“And they won’t just be burning the midnight oil. They’ll be burning the 3am oil. So they won’t even leave the factory type of thing.
“Whereas in America, people are trying to avoid going to work at all.”