“Teleworking is no longer acceptable” for the boss of Tesla

Elon Musk fed up with telecommuting. The boss of Tesla sent a strong message to his employees in order to redirect them as much as possible to the face-to-face. At a time when teleworking is becoming widespread and becoming a priority for many employees, this position is very meaningful and goes contrary to the guideline of other American tech giants.

“Anyone who wants to work remotely will have to spend at least 40 hours a week in the office”

Elon Musk ranted against telework in his image, excessive and provocative. “Teleworking is no longer acceptable”, he said, in an email sent to Tesla executives. The story is to be read this morning of June 2 in The echoes. “Anyone who wants to work remotely will have to spend at least 40 hours a week in the office”. Things are clear and surprising. Fortunately, the United States is not the country of 35 hours. Elon Musk then insists that these 40 hours of face-to-face work must really be a union minimum. So that was for the executives.

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The boss then sent an email to the whole company, with the subject: “to be totally clear”. In the email it reads: “If you don’t show up, we’ll consider you quit.” “The older you are, the more your presence should be visible. That’s why I lived so long in the factory – so that those working on the line could see me working alongside them. If I hadn’t done that, Tesla would have gone bankrupt a long time ago.” Reading this one can be struck by the proximity in terms of language to the escapades of Donald Trump in his writings on Twitter. Yet we are talking about the boss of Tesla, SpaceX, half a dozen big startups in artificial intelligence, the tunnel boring industry and research on neural connections. There you have it, the inimitable Elon Musk, the richest man in the world.

Telecommuting has become a recruitment criterion in Silicon Valley

What is striking is that this position is totally against the grain of the entire tech sector. Indeed, the pandemic had put all of San Francisco in telework and a good part of what New York has of white collar workers. the “home office”, as they say, has established itself as the norm also for the post-pandemic period. Simply because Silicon Valley is a daily hassle for thousands of tech workers. They live in downtown San Francisco and drive 1 or 1.5 hours in traffic every morning and every evening.

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The battle for talent between Google, Facebook and the others has so far been settled by staggering salaries (real estate is overpriced in this city), and by offices that pamper employees with free restaurants, sports and activities for children. Teleworking at will then became a recruitment criterion. Elon Musk and telecommuting is a long story. He had criticized Apple on this subject recently, and even suggested that the headquarters of Twitter (a company he is buying for 44 billion dollars) be transformed into a shelter for the homeless. Indeed, according to him, no one works there anymore. Elon Musk boss, it may surprise but it is the promotion of presenteeism. An attitude in line with the French mentality.

Francois Geffrier

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