Tesla Might Be Serious About ‘No Remote Work’ Policy

Tesla might be serious about enforcing CEO Elon Musk’s “no remote work” policy, according to new posts on Blind, a forum that allows technologists to post anonymously about their workplaces.

“Tesla has started sending emails to those that don’t show up 16 days minimum in the month,” one anonymous poster wrote on the site. “The email directs you to email your boss with an explanation and copy the absence tracking group.”

Another poster included a screenshot of an email asking them to “clear the reason for your absence with your manager.” The email, an automated notification, also stated: “All employees are expected to be back in the office, full-time.”

In early June, Musk reportedly wrote an email to executives in which he declared remote work “no longer acceptable.” Anyone who wanted to work from home would need to ask Musk himself. “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,” read the email, which was reprinted by Electrik. “This is less than we ask of factory workers.” (Bloomberg also excerpted portions of the email.)

In a follow-up email, Musk emphasized his belief that the most effective manager is one who’s physically present in the office as much as possible. “The more senior you are, the more visible must be your presence,” he reportedly wrote. “This 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.”

Musk’s insistence that employees head into the office runs contrary to the policy at many other tech companies. At Google, Apple, Airbnb, and other tech giants, there has been widespread embrace of hybrid and/or remote work. In survey after survey over the past few years, technologists have indicated their overwhelming preference for remote and hybrid work—and how they’ll leave if they don’t get it. Can Tesla retain its talent?