Tesla factory
Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
June 3, 2022 ·  3 min read

Elon Musk reportedly declares remote work ‘no longer acceptable’ at Tesla

One of the most significant changes to working that has happened due to the pandemic is the spread and acceptability of work-from-home. However, Elon Musk, the billionaire inventor and businessman, has seemingly gone to war against it.

Recently, Musk sent two emails to “everybody” in Tesla mandating employees to spend at least “40 hours per week” in the office. Should anyone fail to do so, then Musk and his team will assume that the person has resigned.

Here are the two emails in detail:[1]

First Email:

Subject: Remote work is no longer acceptble

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.



Second Email:

Subject: To be super clear

 Everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week. Moreover, the office 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. That is why I lived in the factory so much – so that those on the line could see me working alongside them. If I had not done that, Tesla would long ago have gone bankrupt.

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.



Not the First Time for Musk

Recently, Musk has been all praised for Tesla’s employees in China. He said that Americans are “trying to avoid work at all costs” while the Chinese are “burning the 3 am oil.” However, the reality is a bit grimmer.[2]

In Shanghai, thousands of staff have remained locked in for several months. They work for 6 days per week with 12-hour long shifts. In fact, until a few days ago, the workers had to sleep on the floor of the factory to keep the system closed-loop. Tesla did this to ensure that Covid stays out while the production rate remains the same.

However, things have improved slightly recently. Now, an additional workforce has been assigned to return the production speed to usual. Nevertheless, they do not have much free time either. Their time outside the factory and sleeping quarters is spent being shuttled between the two facilities.

The sleeping quarters are makeshift dorms where day and night-shift employees alternate and share the same beds. They are either former military camps or unused factories.

Keith Rabois, a capitalist and entrepreneur friend of Musk, had tweeted an interesting anecdote about Musk’s hardline approach:

We know that Musk once said that he spends the most amount of time at work. However, in today’s world, this traditional approach of Tesla is a bit of an outlier when other big tech companies such as Apple are testing out hybrid working systems.

Keep Reaidng: World’s Richest Man Elon Musk Says He’s Homeless And ‘Rotates’ Among Friends’ Houses


  1. Elon Musk asks all Tesla employees to come back to the office or quit.” Electrek. Fred Lambert. June 1, 2022.
  2. Elon Musk’s Ultimatum to Tesla Execs: Return to the Office or Get Out.” Bloomberg. Katrina Nicholas and Dana Hull. June 1, 2022.