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CEOs call Elon Musk’s return to office plan “tone deaf”


Tesla billionaire Elon Musk's tough talk to staff to get them back into the office has not going down well with bosses of other companies.

Musk wrote to his staff to make it clear: "Everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week.”

In a follow-up message, he told Tesla's workforce: “If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned.”


Musk's announcement follows Google and Goldman Sachs' RTO policies announced earlier this spring, making Tesla the latest business to reject working from home.

However, not every CEO or executive is cheering Musk's email, with many arguing that remote work increases productivity and employee satisfaction.


Craig Corn, boss of Reverse Mortgage Funding believes that while Musk’s RTO policy may be appropriate for factory workers, the conviction in an executive's need for in-person presence is exaggerated.

Corn said: “Instead of chasing their own celebrity or brand, company executives should focus on accessibility.” 

He argues that face time isn't as crucial as it previously was because executives may communicate via video platforms.

Company president David Peskin added remote working helps to maintain a varied, healthy, and interesting work environment—particularly for totally remote organizations vying for top talent throughout the country.

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Tony Jamous, CEO and founder of Oyster, a software platform designed to enable remotely operate businesses, shares this viewpoint.

He said those seeking greater talent risk losing out on exceptional employees from around the world seeking flexibility.

An ultimatum in a company-wide notice does not necessarily mean ring of flexibility, mentions Paul McKinlay, head of remote for Cimpress and Vista, has seen a 300 percent increase in job applicants since the business began embracing hybrid and remote work two years ago. 

He said Musk "was on the wrong side of history" with his RTO strategy, expecting a mass departure at Tesla.

“What Musk fails to see or acknowledge is that working remotely has been proven to improve people’s quality of life—and teams’ productivity,” he notes, adding that the ultimatum is "tone-deaf" given the workplace's future.

Source: Fortune

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