May 27, 2024

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks at an event in Hawthorne, California April 30, 2015.
Patrick T. Fallon | Reuters

Elon Musk has reportedly told Tesla employees to come back into their respective offices at least 40-hours a week or to leave the company.

In two emails obtained by Electrek, Musk said that people must show up for at least 40 hours per week in a main Tesla office. “If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned,” he said in one of the emails.

“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,” Musk reportedly said in one email. “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,” the email continues.

“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,” Musk wrote in the second email. He added that it’s important for senior employees to show their presence and said it’s why he “lived in the factory so much” and that, had he not, “Tesla would long ago have gone bankrupt.”

“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,” he added.

Musk appeared to confirm the validity of the emails on Twitter. Responding to an inquiry about the leaked emails from a Twitter account known for promoting the CEO and Tesla, Musk said: “They should pretend to work somewhere else.”

The outspoken CEO is known for allegedly having intense work expectations, especially among factory workers, in order to meet extremely ambitious production goals.

For example, when Covid numbers were rising in California in April 2020, Musk called health restrictions “fascist” in a rant during a company earnings call. He also kept his company’s Fremont, California plant operating despite health orders but faced no repercussions from the state or Alameda County.

Other big tech companies aren’t yet forcing all workers back to the office. In an effort to retain talent during what’s been dubbed the “great resignation,” employers like Amazon, Apple, Alphabet and Meta allow at least some remote work, depending on the employees’ position and location.

Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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