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Elon Musk Tells Tesla Employees to Return to the Office

Holy sheet...the Master of the Universe is pulling his minions back!

Elon Musk Tells Tesla Employees to Return to the Office

Workers must spend at least 40 hours a week in person, electric-vehicle maker’s CEO says

Tesla’s in-person work policy differs from much of Silicon Valley, which has increasingly embraced flexible arrangements during the pandemic.

By Rebecca Elliott, WSJ

Updated June 1, 2022 3:05 pm ET

Elon Musk wants Tesla Inc. employees back in the office.

The electric-vehicle maker’s employees are required to spend at least 40 hours a week in company offices, the Tesla boss said this week in an email to staff that was confirmed by The Wall Street Journal.

“Tesla has and will create and actually manufacture the most exciting and meaningful products of any company on Earth,” Mr. Musk wrote. “This will not happen by phoning it in.”

The email was earlier reported by Electrek, a site that covers electric-vehicle news. Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Employees that don’t want to return to the office could seek employment elsewhere, Mr. Musk suggested in a tweet. “They should pretend to work somewhere else,” he said.

Mr. Musk’s hard-line stance on in-person work differs from much of Silicon Valley, where flexible work policies became commonplace during the Covid-19 pandemic. Tesla moved its headquarters to Texas last year, but much of its staff remains in the San Francisco Bay Area, home to the company’s first factory.

Companies including Airbnb Inc. and Twitter Inc., the social-media company Mr. Musk agreed to buy for $44 billion, have told employees that they could work remotely long-term.

Even employers that were eager to get people back to offices have reconsidered some of those plans as the pandemic has dragged on and workers have leveraged a hot labor market to demand more flexible schedules. Apple Inc. last month paused plans to bring employees back to the office an extra day a week.

Mr. Musk has bristled before at how Covid-19 has impacted the workplace. In the early days of the pandemic, when local authorities in California ordered nonessential businesses to close and people to shelter at home to stop the virus from spreading, Mr. Musk argued that the risk of panic over the coronavirus exceeded the risk from the virus itself. “Give people back their goddamn freedom,” he said.

He suggested in a tweet last week that he thinks workers have been slacking off at home. “Also, all the Covid stay-at-home stuff has tricked people into thinking that you don’t actually need to work hard. Rude awakening inbound!” he said.

Write to Rebecca Elliott at

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