The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

Elon Musk demanded Tesla staff return to the office – but it has gone wrong already, report says

Mr Musk banned remote work and said employees must be in the office for a minimum of 40 hours per week

Elon Musk’s Remote Work Warning For Tesla and SpaceX Staff

Leer en Español

Tesla was unprepared for employees’ return to office mandated by chief executive Elon Musk, according to reports.

Employees suffered from a lack of parking spaces, a shortage of desks, and inadequate Wi-Fi, The Information reported.

Mr Musk had previously banned remote 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,” he wrote. “This is less than we ask of factory workers.”

In a follow-up email Mr Musk wrote: “The more senior you are, the more visible must be your presence. That is why I lived in the factory so much – so that those on the line could see me working alongside them. If I had not done that, Tesla would long ago have gone bankrupt.

“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. Tesla has and will create and actually manufacture the most exciting and meaningful products of any company on Earth. This will not happen by phoning it in.”

During the pandemic many Tesla employees had been conducting their work from home, with the number of employees doubling since the start of COVID measures. Some employees had to spend hours travelling to the company’s office in Fremont, California.

In a recent interview, Mr Musk said that Tesla’s value is based on whether it can develop self-driving technology.

Mr Musk added that the feature was “essential. It’s really the difference between Tesla being worth a lot of money or worth basically zero”.

The company has also had a “very tough quarter” according to leaked emails from the chief executive.

Mr Musk’s other venture, SpaceX, recently fired employees who wrote an open letter criticising the behaviour of Elon Musk.

“Elon’s behavior in the public sphere is a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, particularly in recent weeks,” the letter states.

“As our CEO and most prominent spokesperson, Elon is seen as the face of SpaceX — every Tweet that Elon sends is a de facto public statement by the company. It is critical to make clear to our teams and to our potential talent pool that his messaging does not reflect our work, our mission, or our values.”

In response, the company “terminated a number of employees involved” with the letter.

Tesla and SpaceX did not respond to requests for comment from The Independent.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in