Facepalm: Three months after Elon Musk lambasted remote working and demanded that Tesla employees return to the office, the electric vehicle giant is still said to be struggling with a lack of space and resources to accommodate them all. This contributed to a drop in morale, leading the company to begin monitoring employee attendance.
The situation began in June when Musk sent memos to SpaceX employees and Tesla executives stating that all but “exceptional” workers must spend at least 40 hours in the office a week or quit. This followed an earlier email sent to Tesla staff explaining that they should work in a main company office and not in a pseudo-remote location.
With no alternative, staff returned a few weeks later, only to find that there were not enough desks or parking spaces at the Fremont, California office. According to a CNBC report, citing US-based employees and internal documents, these issues are still present.
Staff noted issues including a shortage of supplies such as dongles and charging cords. Another issue is that there aren’t enough conference rooms and phone booths, forcing some people to take phone calls outside.
Numerous studies have proven that employees are happier and often more productive when working from home, so being forced to return to the office has hit Tesla’s morale hard, especially among those who were allowed to work remotely at home. pre-pandemic era.
Tesla staff who previously worked remotely and lived away from an office were asked to relocate and given until September 30 to relocate or take severance pay. In June, Tesla reportedly fired without warning those who said they couldn’t move or didn’t know if it was possible.
A disgruntled workforce often indicates an absent workforce. Internal records show about one-eighth of employees at the Fremont plant were absent on a typical day in early September, and about one-tenth were absent companywide. Tesla now monitors attendance, with Musk and other executives receiving detailed weekly absenteeism reports.
It’s not just Tesla workers who are upset about a back-to-work mandate. Apple employees started a petition against Cupertino’s policy, and its director of machine learning left the company due to the lack of flexibility.