Ilona Mask’s Remote Work Decree Heats Up Remote Work Debate Again – That’s What Seattle Technology Leaders Say – GeekWire

Elon Musk bows after the successful launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission in 2020. (Photo by GeekWire / Kevin Lisota)

If you work for Tesla and have been doing this work from home since the beginning of the pandemic, be careful if there is a knock on the door. Maybe Elon is calling.

Elon Musk, CEO of the electric car maker, this week caused a stir with emails to employees in which he said he wanted them to work at least 40 hours a week at the company’s offices. Those seeking exceptions to this policy will need the approval of Mask himself – or they will simply be fired, he suggested.

The emails were reported by Electrekcovering news on electric vehicles and industry.

“Everyone at Tesla is required to spend at least 40 hours a week in the office,” Musk wrote. “And the office should be where your real colleagues are, not some remote pseudo-office. If you do not show up, we will assume that you have resigned. “

“Tesla creates and will create and actually produce the most interesting and significant products of any company on Earth,” he added. “It won’t happen if you call.”

In response on TwitterMusk doubled when asked to comment by Tesla employees, who believe that “coming to the office is an outdated concept.”

“They have to pretend to work elsewhere,” he said.

Mask’s position contradicts much of the thinking in the entire technology industry, where companies are slowly making any demands on workers when and when they return, or how much time they need to spend in physical offices. Workers sent home at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic have gained an important role over the past two years in that companies do whatever it takes to meet in-demand technical talent and win battles with recruitment.

“Tesla creates and will create and actually produce the most interesting and significant products of any company on Earth. It won’t happen if you call. “

“Sure, there are companies that don’t need it, but when was the last time they delivered a great new product? It’s been a long time, ”Musk said in one of his letters about his new office policy.

In the Seattle region, technology giants such as Amazon and Microsoft have repeatedly set up callbacks in response to COVID-19 jumps or rival positions.

On Wednesday, we approached several heads of technical and human resources to assess their response to Mask’s latest decree. Here’s what they had to say:

Sandy Lynnco-founder and CEO of Skilljar, a Seattle-based startup that creates cloud learning and adaptation programs, told GeekWire that “every company is different, and the CEO has the prerogative to determine what works best.”

“I don’t know the car industry to have an opinion on what is needed – Tesla creates physical products and has factories that are very different from the software industry,” she added. “I’m just grateful to be able to offer our team flexible job options.”

Dan SpauldingCEO of Zillow Group, said in Fr. message in LinkedIn Last month, companies that “tried to pretend to be 2019 again” proved that they failed to move to flexible work, and are doing so at their own peril.

Seattle-based real estate giant Zillow two years ago was strongly in favor of a hybrid work model and says gained an advantage in recruiting against companies that increasingly require employees to spend at least part of their time in the office.

“The pandemic has led to the biggest changes in work culture that the country has seen in decades,” Spaulding wrote. “It shed light on the truth that already existed: the traditional design of the 9 to 5 office was not suitable for everyone. Now former office workers have adapted to a different model and have largely proved just as productive, if not more so. The best way is possible. For some, increased flexibility in work has become the only silver that has emerged in this pandemic. Employers taking this away will see many employees walk out the office door. “

In early March 2020, the streets around Amazon headquarters in the Danny Regrad and South Lake Union neighborhoods of Seattle were mostly quiet when technicians headed home at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by GeekWire / Kurt Schlosser)

Amy Johnson, a senior employee of Highspot, also said that every company is different and every culture is unique. Over the past two years, software launchers have found that different employees work successfully in different work environments, and one size does not fit all.

“Putting our people first by offering flexibility has not only positively impacted the well-being of our employees, but also our business,” Johnson told GeekWire. “Revenues have grown by 935% over the past three years, and the destruction of our employees continues to decline and is well below industry standards.”

The startup plans to continue to explore what works best and develop its approach as the world continues to change, she added.

Jenny Chinavet is the owner of Kohr Consulting, a boutique recruitment agency in the Seattle area. Now she has no candidates from Tesla, but she has noticed a certain increase in candidates who are asking for opportunities “only remotely”.

“It will be interesting to see how it all turns out, because we are also seeing an increase in the number of layoffs and layoffs,” said Chinavet. “In the near future, candidates may not be able to be so selective as the number of available jobs begins to decline.”

Doug Sayed is the founder and CEO of Applied HR Strategies, which advises companies on employee compensation. He said it would be interesting to see how Mask’s demand for Tesla would unfold.

“Amazon realized that it would certainly lose a lot of people as soon as they declared ‘office culture,’ and it turned around pretty quickly,” Saeed said. “Apple also simply postponed the three-day office requirement each week, which was supposed to appear recently (allegedly accusing COVID, but they were getting a lot of rejections from within the company over that requirement).

“I think Elon is on the wrong side of the issue,” Saeed added. “At least if he cares about keeping the talent.”

GeekWire editor Taylor Soper contributed to this report.

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