Tesla CEO Elon Musk is not a big fan of remote work and he has made that very clear lately in his communications with company employees.
On May 31, a leaked email from Musk to his executive team revealed that Tesla now requires its salaried staff to be in the office for a minimum of 40 hours per week before being allowed to do remote work, "or depart Tesla."
In the email, Musk noted that only "particularly exceptional contributors for whom this is impossible" will be exempted from the new policy, after each case will be reviewed and approved directly by him.
As it turns out, Tesla isn't relying on the staff's goodwill to enforce this policy. The automaker is actively monitoring employees' office attendance by the use of their access badges, as revealed by an automated email from Tesla that was shared by an employee on the professional network Blind.
This is an automated notification,
You are receiving this email because there is no record of you using your badge to enter a Tesla facility on at least 16 days over the 30-day period ending on June 28. As a reminder, all employees are expected to be back in the office, full-time. We realize that there are various reasons why you may not have badged in, including illness, vacation, or traveling for business.
Whatever the case, please clear the reason for your absence with your manager by email, with a copy also sent to email@example.com.
A Tesla employee confirmed to Business Insider the authenticity of the email. As expected, Tesla staff aren't too happy with the new policy, at least some of them. In another post on Blind, a different Tesla employee wrote the following message.
"This feels wrong. I can't quite put it into words why it bothers me, it feels like it's an overstep. It's controlling. Its disrespectful.
But on the other hand, if the company wants to be in-office, is this within their right to do? Is it fair to track badging? I suppose yes?"
The post generated almost 900 comments, the majority of which were critical of Tesla's new policy.
Earlier this month, when Twitter users asked Elon Musk to comment on people who think coming to work is an antiquated concept, he replied sarcastically: "They should pretend to work somewhere else."