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Elon Musk's Demand Staffers Stop 'Phoning It in' May Cost Him Talent

  • Tesla’s CEO is demanding that all staffers return to offices
  • Rival carmakers have adopted far more flexible policies
Elon Musk

Elon Musk

Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg

Elon Musk’s demand that Tesla Inc. staff stop “phoning it in” and get back to the office has thrust the world’s richest person into the noisy debate over the future of work, and shows again that some CEOs remain tone-deaf to employees’ growing demands for flexibility.

“Everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week,” Musk wrote in a message addressed to employees at the electric-car maker. That “must be where your actual colleagues are located, not some remote pseudo office. If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned. The more senior you are, the more visible must be your presence.”