A close-up image of Elon Musk, wearing a dark suit with white shirt and white bow tie.

Elon Musk tells Tesla staff to go back to the office or ‘pretend to work somewhere else’

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has told employees they can no longer work from home, warning they must return to the office or leave the company, according to an email sent to employees and seen by the Reuters news agency.

“Everyone at Tesla is required to spend at least 40 hours in the office per week,” Mr. Musk wrote in the email sent Tuesday evening.

“If you don’t show up, we’ll assume you quit.”

“The more senior you are, the more your presence should be visible,” he wrote.

“That’s why I lived so long at the factory – so those in line could see me working alongside them. If I hadn’t done that, Tesla would have gone bankrupt a long time ago.”

Two sources confirmed the authenticity of the email, but Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

Big tech companies in California’s Silicon Valley have not demanded that staff return to work in the office full-time, amid resistance from some and a resurgence of coronavirus cases in the state.

Tesla moved its headquarters to Austin, Texas, but has its engineering base and one of its factories in California’s San Francisco Bay Area.

“There are, of course, companies that don’t need it, but when was the last time they shipped a great new product? It’s been a while,” Musk wrote in his email. personal.

“Tesla has created and will make the most exciting and meaningful products of any company on Earth. It’s not going to happen by phoning it.”

One of Mr. Musk’s Twitter followers posted another email that Mr. Musk apparently sent to executives asking them to work at the office for at least 40 hours a week or “quit Tesla.”

In response to this tweet, the billionaire said: “They should pretend to work somewhere else.”

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Tesla employees share their concerns

Some Tesla employees expressed their displeasure with Mr Musk’s latest comments in messages they posted on the anonymous app Blind, which requires users to register using the company’s email as proof employment in companies.

“If there is a mass exodus, how would Tesla finish the projects? I don’t think investors would be happy about it,” wrote a Tesla employee.

“Waiting for it to back up real quick,” another worker posted.

A California-based labor advocacy group has criticized Mr Musk’s plan to return to office.

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