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Get back or get out: the R(O)TO sets in at Tesla


Get back or get out: the R(O)TO sets in at Tesla

Elon Musk joins ‘tone deaf’ CEOs who want staff back in the building, ignoring overwhelming evidence that this is unwise

Matthew Boyle

Elon Musk’s demand that Tesla staff stop “phoning it in” and get back to the office has thrust the world’s richest person into the noisy debate about the future of work, showing again that some CEOs remain tone-deaf to employees’ growing demands for flexibility.

“Everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week,” Musk wrote in a message addressed to employees at the electric carmaker. That “must be where your actual colleagues are located, not some remote pseudo office. If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned. The more senior you are, the more visible must be your presence.” 

But that mandate might not be acceptable to some at Tesla and will certainly spook staffers at Twitter, which Musk is seeking to acquire, who have enjoyed a work-from-anywhere policy throughout the pandemic. In today’s tight labour market, with salaries soaring and workers quitting at a record clip, Musk’s policy could also cost him some talent...

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