Elon Musk's Tesla home-working move could spell doom for Twitter employees

Elon Musk
Elon Musk (Image credit: Recode)

What you need to know

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk has told employees that they must work from the office 40 hours per week.
  • No working from home will be allowed among Tesla's workforce.
  • Twitter employees will be watching on amid Musk's ongoing buyout.

Tesla CEO and prospective Twitter owner Elon Musk has written to employees of the electric car maker to say that working from home is no longer an option — they have to work a minimum of 40 hours per week from a Tesla office.

In an email seen on Twitter, Musk tells Tesla workers that the 40-hour minimum is "less than we ask of factory workers" while going on to say that people will need to work from a main Tesla office, not a "remote branch office unrelated to the job duties" being performed. There was some hope, however, with Musk saying that he would review individual circumstances if required.

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.If there are particularly exceptional contributors for whom this is impossible, I will review and approve those exceptions directly.Moreover, the "office" 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.

In a follow-up email, Musk went on to suggest that while some other companies allow people to work remotely, that has hampered their ability to ship "exciting and meaningful products."

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.

In a tweet calling him out on the prospect of office-only working, Musk doubled down by saying that people who want to "pretend" to work should do so somewhere else, not at Tesla.

See more

This will no doubt be concerning reading for people who work at Twitter and are already worried about the prospect of Musk's hostile takeover going through. Musk will take the company private and, likely, instill similar requirements on the Twitter workforce. That'll be disappointing news for people who were previously told by current CEO Parag Agrawal that they would be able to work from home forever.

Musk's stance is antiquated in a post-pandemic world where people spent months working from home. Apple won't allow homeworking entirely, either, and will instead require that people work from the office some days as part of a hybrid system. Employees have been working from home throughout the Apple silicon, creating the best Mac computers to date.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.