Twitter employees reportedly awoke to a harsh reality check on Wednesday.
While they slept, the Chief Twit, CEO Elon Musk was burning both ends of the proverbial candle, and, at 2:30 a.m., he fired off a memo to his staff to remind them that “office is not optional.”
According to Platformer managing editor Zoë Schiffer, Musk, who famously carried a kitchen sink into Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters when he took over the social media platform in Oct. 2022, complained in his early-morning message that half of the building was empty the day before, Fox Business reports.
Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in! pic.twitter.com/D68z4K2wq7
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 26, 2022
Musk has long been vocal about his concerns regarding “remote work.”
In 2019, long before acquiring Twitter was even a thought, Musk told a user on the platform that working remotely comes with a high price.
“Big communication penalty for remote work,” he tweeted, “which means the gain in talent that won’t move has to be very high.”
Big communication penalty for remote work, which means the gain in talent that won’t move has to be very high
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 22, 2019
In Nov. 2022, shortly after his takeover of Twitter, Musk corrected claims that he ordered his Ireland workforce to get back to the office.
“There is literally [sic] not enough housing in Dublin for them to do so,” a user tweeted.
“This is false,” Musk replied.
“Anyone who can be in office, should be,” he continued. “However, if not logistically possible or they have essential personal matters, then staying home is fine. Working remotely is also ok if their manager vouches for excellence. Same policy as Tesla & SpaceX.”
This is false. Anyone who can be in office, should be. However, if not logistically possible or they have essential personal matters, then staying home is fine.
Working remotely is also ok if their manager vouches for excellence.
Same policy as Tesla & SpaceX.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 12, 2022
But as he attempted to stop Twitter from bleeding money in San Francisco and told employees that they’d have to start paying for their own lunches, he noted that “almost no one came to the office.”
Especially bizarre given that almost no one came to the office. Estimated cost per lunch served in past 12 months is >$400.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 13, 2022
Reports Fox Business:
Last summer, [Musk] sent a similar note to his employees at Tesla, telling employees they were required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week. ‘Remote work is no longer acceptable,’ was the subject line of that email.
While many Americans got used to the perks of working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the era of holding a company meeting in a business top and pajama bottoms is now at an end, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“Some 72.5% of business establishments said their employees teleworked rarely or not at all last year, according to a Labor Department report released this week,” the outlet reports. “That figure climbed from 60.1% in 2021. The survey showed about 21 million more workers on-site full time in 2022, compared with the prior year.”
The nation’s shaky economy is playing a part in insisting workers return to the office.
“Employers recently have begun pushing harder to get staff to work on-site more often, as recession fears prompt an increased emphasis on worker productivity,” states the WSJ.
Among the large companies that are now “pushing harder” are Walt Disney Co., Starbucks Corp., and Meta Platforms Inc., parent of Facebook.
“There’s a sense that innovation, creativity and collaboration can suffer when teams are apart,” Mike Steinitz, senior executive director at Robert Half, told the paper. “They believe employees are simply more productive in the office.”
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