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Elon Musk declares that teleworking is “no longer acceptable” at Tesla

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has taken a hard line against his employees who work from home, Electrek and Bloomberg report. In an email that was apparently sent to the company’s senior executives with the subject line “Teleworking is no longer acceptable,” the CEO said employees must spend a minimum of 40 hours per week in the office, otherwise “leave Tesla.” He said that this should be a “head office in Tesla” and not an “external branch office”.

In response to a screenshot of the alleged email posted on Twitter, Musk did not deny its authenticity, and wrote that anyone who disagrees with a policy of entering the office “should pretend to work elsewhere.” Tesla did not respond The Verge’s request for comment, but is reported to have dissolved the press office.

In his email, the CEO added that he would be willing to consider requests to work remotely under any circumstances, but indicated that such requests had to be “exceptional” in order to be approved. “If there are particularly exceptional contributors for whom this is impossible, I will consider and approve these exceptions directly,” he wrote. Working 40 hours in person, he said, is “less than we ask of factory workers.”

In a follow-up email set off Electrek, the CEO claimed that his own history of almost living in the Tesla factory was the reason behind the company’s survival. “The more senior you are, the more visible your presence must be,” he wrote. “Of course there are companies that do not require this, but when was the last time they sent a great new product? It’s been a while.”

After the global pandemic forced many companies to quickly implement telecommunications guidelines, many are now considering how to bring their employees back to the office, or whether they need it at all. Some, like Apple, are testing a hybrid approach that involves employees entering the office only part of the week.

Tesla’s hard stance makes it a relative protrusion of the so-called “new normal”. “If you do not show up, we will assume you have withdrawn,” Musk wrote. You can read both of his emails in full at Electrek.

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