Tesla, Google, Apple… These companies that stop working from home

For or against the maintenance of teleworking? Elon Musk, the thundering boss of Tesla, has just taken sides. He warns his employees: “Come back to the office or leave the company”

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He does not go there by four paths, Elon Musk. In an email sent to his employees, the boss of Tesla and SpaceX simply asked his employees to return to the office or leave the company. “Anyone who wants to do remote work, writes Elon Muskmust be in the office for a minimum of forty hours per week, or leave Tesla”. “If you do not show up, he writes in another emailwe will consider that you have resigned.” Why forty hours? “It’s less than what we ask of factory workers.” responds Elon Musk.

No exceptions are provided. If there are, he alone will grant them. Requests for teleworking may possibly be examined, but they will only be granted on an exceptional basis, for “particularly outstanding contributors” for whom it would be impossible to come back to the office all week. And when an employee asks if he has an additional comment for people who think coming to work in the office is an outdated concept, Musk replies: “They should pretend to work somewhere else!”

The boss of Tesla justifies himself by highlighting the culture of the company: “Tesla has created and will make the most exciting and meaningful products of any company on Earth. It won’t be done on the phone. There are of course companies that don’t require that he continues, but when was the last time they shipped a great product? It’s been a long time…”

Some companies, like Google and Apple, are on the same line: no more teleworking. But it gets stuck. At Apple, some 3,000 employees are threatening to resign if they are deprived of teleworking. Large firms, such as Twitter and Airbnb, have on the contrary made telework permanent and no longer require their employees to work in a particular place. “Wherever you feel most productive and creative is where you will work and that includes working from home full-time forever” writes for example Parag Agrawal, the CEO of Twitter. “Let’s ask the workers in the factories”, responds Elon Musk.

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