Yesterday, Tiana Watts-Porter, Technical Recruiter at Microsoft, made a rescue call on LinkedIn to invite Tesla employees to escape the chains of the desks and factory floors at Tesla.
In a now-deleted post directly mentioning Tesla employees, she stated:
“Here at Microsoft and our affiliates LinkedIn and GitHub, we offer ALL OPTIONS!!! You can do things your way and be yourself here at Microsoft! †
And if that means working from home in your pajamas, that’s fine and dandy.
The invitation follows a series of leaked emails and follow-up tweets from Elon Musk saying goodbye to remote work. With Musk’s earlier insistence that Tesla is a tech company, many are wondering why he is going against the trend of remote working.
— Sam Nissim (@SamNissim) June 1, 2022
It applies to everyone. He sent a follow up. pic.twitter.com/DXJu4u98OR
— Sam Nissim (@SamNissim) June 1, 2022
Other CEOs are crazy
Unsurprisingly, the news drew scorn from CEOs and industry professionals:
1) Who shipped a remarkable product remotely? Well, I guess that depends on how you define success. I’ve worked remotely at Red Hat for ten years, with record year-over-year ARR growth of over 60 quarters. These people sent Twitter, the company he buys. https://t.co/8ecOlWygtR
— Daniel Jeffries (@Dan_Jeffries1) June 2, 2022
Another reason why I would never want to work for you, nor would I recommend any of my colleagues to work for you.
— Grady Booch (@Grady_Booch) June 1, 2022
Yes, that’s THE Grady Booch.
News from @Elon Musk † @tesla today feels like something out of the fifties: “Everyone at Tesla is required to spend at least 40 hours a week in the office”. A very different approach to what we do at Atlassian, and here’s why. (1/5)
— Scott Farquhar (@scottfarkas) June 2, 2022
Not all roles require you to be in the office during zoom conversations
To say the obvious, Tesla builds physical things. No one is suggesting that workers can indulge in industrial welding from the comfort of their apartment,
But making cars isn’t just about working on the assembly line — roles such as design and engineering use software to build vehicle concepts and systems.
Likewise, marketing, business development, accounting, HR, finance and countless other functions do not require an office.
It’s fun to hear commentsy on the productivity of someone who spends a lot of their time talking rubbish on Twitter.
At least 40 hours?!
Let’s not forget that Musk admits in the email that he works his employees overtime and states that they must work “at least 40 hours”.
He notes, “This is less than we ask of factory workers.”
Damn, what’s the max then?
And if we look at factory floor jobs, I don’t want people who do dangerous jobs with robots and machines to be overworked and tired.
Unsurprisingly, Tesla is getting a lot of pushback, with German unions representing the newly opened Brandenburg Gigafactory offer to support local workers†
Tesla employs about 4,000 people in Germany from about 99,000 worldwide.
“Americans are lazy”
Last month, at a conference hosted by the Financial Times, Musk spoke, where he told those present†
“There are just a lot of super talented and hardworking people in China who strongly believe in manufacturing. And they won’t just burn the midnight oil. They will burn the oil from 3am. So they won’t even leave the factory type.
While in America people try not to go to work at all.”
Elon also shared on Twitter that all employees use the same toilets.
I don’t care if Elon wants to spend his life in a factory that sleeps on the floor as a one-man solution to bring the IT and OT staff together.
He could absorb any cold hard floor with his pile of money. But what about work-life balance for parents, caregivers, pet owners, and anyone who just wants a life outside of work?
Do we want this to become the norm?!
A pretty handy Tesla email
However, the plot thickens. Yesterday, Musk apparently sent an email to Tesla employees titled ‘suspend all hiring worldwide’, referring to the need to reduce the workforce by approximately 10%.
Look, I’m not sure how many people in non-production positions will move into companies with more balance in life.
But these are people who can work in any job, and it seems very helpful that Musk is talking about people who are going to work elsewhere and the need to cut staff.
It all sounds like a nifty way to justify culling workforces and cutting redundancy costs by getting people to quit.