Elon Musk criticized remote work as “morally wrong” and “bullshit” in a CNBC interview, saying it was unfair to employees who are unable to work from home.
Musk hasn’t been shy about expressing his displeasure with work-from-home policies; after buying Twitter, he banned remote work. Musk, though, was more agitated than usual during the conversation and argued that working remotely was ineffective.
In Musk’s words to CNBC’s David Faber, he said “I’m a big believer that people need to be more productive when they’re in person.” In June 2022, Musk established a stringent “return to the office” policy for Tesla, threatening to fire any employees who didn’t comply. The Tesla CEO added that he believes there are some exceptions to the need for office work and he’s not expecting workers to put in the same amount of work that he puts in, just “put 40 hours in” at the office — even if you accomplish that in fewer than five in-office days. Musk required employees to put in at least 40 hours a week at work, anything less would be “phoning it in.”
Before the pandemic, Tesla employees told CNBC that the company was more receptive to remote labour. However, following Covid, Musk firmly opposed remote work as well as other preventative measures like wearing masks. Additionally, the business lacked the space and finances to relocate many of its staff to its San Francisco offices.
Musk implemented the same stringent rules after acquiring Twitter at the same time that he was firing more than three-fourths of the employees. He became extremely agitated during the interview when CNBC’s David Faber casually brought up the policy.
“Get off the goddamn moral high horse with the work-from-home bullshit,” Musk said, “because they’re asking everyone else to not work from home while they do.”
He continued by saying that office workers shouldn’t be allowed to work from home because others who serve meals and construct homes cannot, calling the choice “messed up” and a “moral issue.” “It’s messed up to assume that they have to go to work when you don’t,” Musk said in an interview with CNBC’s David Faber. “It’s not just a productivity thing. I think it’s morally wrong.”
“You got to come into the office every day if you want to work at Tesla, you want to work at SpaceX, you want to work at Twitter,” he stated.