With a tough announcement, Tesla boss Elon Musk brought his team back to the offices. However, the radical step does not seem to have been properly prepared.

It was a tough decision: At Tesla, there is only a home office if you have spent the rest of the week in the office – at least. This was announced by boss Elon Musk via group-wide email at the beginning of June. And combined that with an overt threat: If someone doesn’t show up, that would be interpreted as a dismissal, Musk drew a hard line in the sand. Apparently, the plans cannot be implemented.

This emerges from a report by the portal “The Information”, which specializes in investigative reports. As a result, the many employees who initially struggled with a lack of parking at Tesla’s Fremont, California factory found not only too few desks, but also insufficient internet bandwidth.

Tense situation on site

According to unnamed employees, the parking situation is so bad that Tesla has to have its people picked up by shuttles from external parking lots. Once in the office, the next problem awaits: there aren’t enough desks to give everyone their own workspace. Some parts of the work areas were probably used for other purposes in the course of the pandemic – and the grown teams were apparently not considered either.

The situation is apparently so tricky that some employees were sent home by their bosses – to be able to work there. This then also relieves the burden on the Internet: it was obviously brought to its knees by the numerous users that effective work was unthinkable.

Growth not included

The main culprit is the aggressive expansion of the group. Since 2019 – i.e. since the beginning of the pandemic – the workforce of the group has roughly doubled. Musk had imposed a hiring freeze just a month ago – and cited the excessive hiring as one of the reasons. Now people are getting laid off.

For Musk, it’s all about the principle: He believes that the right work ethic only arises when you are there, he explained in the mail. And in his opinion, this applies all the more, the higher the employee is in the hierarchy. Musk himself worked out of the factory for months so the employees could see how passionate he was about the vision. “If I hadn’t done that, Tesla would have been broke a long time ago,” he says.

Other companies are also struggling with the return to the office. While some companies like AirBnB have announced that they will allow unlimited choice of work location, other companies like Apple and Google are cautiously trying to lure employees back to corporate headquarters. They rely on various strategies such as flexible models with a few office days a week or on spectacles such as concerts and themed days in the office. It remains to be seen which model will last.

What: The Information

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