Elon Musk Uses Worst Tech-Bro Cliches to Get People Back to Office

"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."

Elon Musk attends the 2022 Met Gala celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2022 in New York City. Musk recently demanded Tesla workers return to the office full-time.
Elon Musk, not at the office, attending the 2022 Met Gala on May 2, 2022 in New York.
Raymond Hall/GC Images

In the current not-post-COVID work culture, some companies are allowing workers to continue working at home, while others are adopting an office-home hybrid schedule. And then there’s Elon Musk, who just told all of Tesla to get back to the office because, well, they’re awesome, right? And also, your lack of office facetime suggests you’ve resigned.

“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,” the Tesla founder emailed workers this week, according to Electrek. “This is less than we ask of factory workers.”

So right away, his return-to-office demands hit up the usual talking points, starting with “other people can’t do this so why should you?” because nothing can ever improve for anyone. He goes on to talk about people’s “presence” in the office being vitally important and then pulls out the worst alpha male/tech bro line: “That is why I lived in the factory so much — so that those on the line could see me working alongside them. If I had not done that, Tesla would long ago have gone bankrupt.”

But what about other companies who realize WFH can be beneficial? Musk writes, while offering absolutely no examples, “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.”

He also refers to people not working at the office as “phoning it in,” which is a hilariously out-of-touch Boomer line.

Admittedly, working from home isn’t a perfect solution. A Microsoft study last year concluded that WFH could lead to a loss of innovation and productivity, but is also keeping workers happier. Depending on your view, you can probably find research to back whatever you believe, although Musk seems to have foregone any deep studies and simply presented a “my way or the highway” ultimatum.

Meanwhile, we all know what Musk is working so hard on at the office: Fighting satirical websites over memes.

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