Elon Musk escalates Tesla’s war on working from home with 'please explain' emails

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
elon musk - Dimitrios Kambouris /Getty Images North America
elon musk - Dimitrios Kambouris /Getty Images North America

Elon Musk has stepped up his campaign against working from home by targeting Tesla staff who fail to turn up often enough with automated demands for an explanation.

The carmaker is tracking how many times its workers swipe into offices and sending messages to those who do not swipe enough warning that all staff are expected in the office during normal working hours.

The Telegraph has seen a screenshot of an email sent to staff which says: “You are receiving this email because there is no record of you using your badge to enter a Tesla facility on at least 16 days over the 30-day period ending on June 28.

“As a reminder, all employees are expected to be back in the office, full-time.”

Staff receiving such emails must send an explanation of their absence to line managers and also to a central monitoring point.

Posts on the Blind workplace discussion forum from Tesla staff suggest the new policy is proving unpopular.

One said: “This feels wrong. I can't quite put it into words why it bothers me, it feels like it's an overstep. It's controlling. It’s disrespectful.”

Watch: Elon Musk tells Tesla staff - return to office or leave

A second user said Tesla “isn't completely wrong to expect employees to come back, but this is excessive and a d— move at that,” while another quipped: “Elon realised people need to commute to buy cars.”

Mr Musk has been outspoken in his dislike for remote working, saying earlier this month that Tesla staff working from home “should pretend to work somewhere else”. The electric car-maker has said staff should spend at least 40 hours per week in the workplace before being eligible to work remotely.

In the past, the Tesla chief executive has suggested employees should work 100 hours a week to “change the world”.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

This week Tesla sacked 200 staff and shut down its office in San Mateo, California, as part of efforts to cull 3,500 jobs as the economy slows.

Many of those let go in the latest round of cuts were working on Tesla’s Autopilot driver assistance software.

Autopilot has caused controversy in recent years, with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a federal regulator, opening an investigation this month into a number of crashes it said were linked to the software.

During the 2010s, a number of fatal crashes occurred in the US which investigators said were caused by drivers treating Autopilot as a fully-fledged autonomous driving system instead of a lane and speed-keeping feature.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting