Leaked Tesla emails… (Ep. 605)

Do you concur or disagree with Elon Musk's approach to remote work at Tesla?

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Leaked Tesla emails… (Ep. 605)

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  1. COVID likely created errors in org structure which lowered the speed to solving problems. Nothing worse than factory and warehouse staff hitting their head against a wall due to a flaw in how a process is built, and the folks that are responsible in fixing that process aren’t a) in the building and b) hard to get a hold of due to being remote. A good step towards ensuring culture and speed of innovation remain Tesla’s greatest moat.

    1. This move seems unlike Elon to me. I would think if people were being effective working from home he would be all about it.

  2. No one knows how accurate this statement is and remote/hybrid is the future of work. It will be hard for Tesla/Elon to attract talent if they are required to come to the office 40 hours a week.

    1. @Bengt Björck Even non physical jobs work better under group synergies not to mention a lot less horsing around!

    2. Imagine having to deal with someone that actually has a problem coming into work for 40 hours a week. What else will they have a problem with when things get tough at work. People are so entitled nowadays.

    3. only the hardcore diehard type are needed and fit for tesla. the rest can enjoy their lives somewhere else.

  3. This is a rally call for “ALL HANDS ON DECK”. The plans Elon has for Tesla means this is a time for ramping and going for the “hard press”. Everyone needs to be on board and pulling their weight. If the mission and the effort is something people can’t deal with or adapt to… the exit is clearly marked. I know this seems “mean” but what is at stake and what needs to be done means Tesla can’t let up but indeed need to go even harder and further than they have before. They have a lot to achieve and time is of the essence. If anyone things this isn’t fair… then imagine what he will expect of Twitter?

    At least (and I mean this sincerely) Elon will be one of THE HARDEST WORKING PEOPLE in the company. Knowing you boss isn’t golfing or having a long “lunch meeting” while you are slaving away makes a difference.

    Let’s go Tesla!

    1. ALL HANDS ON DECK is an emergency cry for saving a sinking ship or battling a fire. And if you say everyday is an emergency at Tesla, then by definition, nothing is an emergency. (My old boss said everything was top priority, which made everything have no priority.)

      Essential personnel should stay on site and set an example. Non-essential personnel should stay out of the way, help where they can, and learn.

      Hard working people can’t stay on deck forever. They need to be rotated out to limit mistakes and burn-out.

      The pandemic forced a great experiment on us. Let’s learn from it. Assuming remote workers can’t be as productive as onsite workers ignores recent data that proves otherwise. Ignore data at your peril.

  4. I agree, manufacturing and innovation is an in person game. Innovation is best served by collaboration, and collaboration is best achieved by in person bouncing off ideas. Remoting that in stifles the process.

  5. While I do largely agree with your assessment here, this topic has me questioning my whether I’m biased toward Tesla more than most other topics you cover… i.e. if the other companies had been hardliners about no more remote work and Tesla was super accommodating for employees that can accomplish their work from home, would we find a way to justify that and paint Tesla in the best light if the situation were flipped? I feel like it’s always important to check my biases

    1. I wonder if we ought to give more weight to the objections and less weight to the points in favor. If the situation were flipped I could easily see myself arguing that Tesla is innovating on the business model, and by doing so they’ll be able to attract and retain the best talent which would outweigh any potential loss in productivity. There’s just good points on both sides, are we objectively giving each a proper amount of weight or are the scales being tipped by bias

    2. Elon may have seen some first hand cases of lazy mfs ‘working’ that he hasn’t told us about.

    3. I am pro Tesla but I don’t agree on Elon’s vision of working from Home, not all sizes fits all and there are plenty of jobs can be done remotely with a lot of success and lots of productivity. My guess is he will lose some software engineers and office people about this, maybe pretty good talent

  6. I really enjoy your videos Dave! Most times I have similar views. In this case I am still thinking about it. There are so many old companies requiring work from office that are very sclerotic and build no great products. Therefore I am really not sure if this is really a strong advantage. I think most important is skin in the game and measure value creation & reward employees for valuable work

  7. I am for 100% home office but for Elon I am ready to work 40 hours a week from the office.

    1. It’s never 40 hours for Elon and I am all in for that .. if I contribute to better future heck take my 2 life span and don’t even pay me

  8. a high proportion of home office is nice for jobs in accounting or design and software teams. But in the manufacture of complex products, you have to be on site as much as possible to bring production forward, to motivate the employees and to follow and understand the many complex steps with your own eyes. of course Elon is right here!

  9. I make custom candy in a small “factory” (old warehouse). The candy machines and processes need constant attention. Further, the on-line orders need to be managed and melded into an already tight production schedule. None of this could be done from home due to the constant changes within the factory’s production. The suggestion of remote management is silly. Increase the scale of this operation by ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND and it is easy to see why no one can afford to “work remotely” at Tesla.

  10. Believing that people can’t work just as productively from home is morally wrong and dumb. The only exception I can think of is when it’s more efficient to move the people to the work than to move the work to the people. This episode is Elon at his worst. How do you arrive at this belief from first principles?

  11. His company his rules. That’s all I see… Tesla, SpaceX, and all his others are vertically integrated. Up, as fast as possible. In-person is the only way.

  12. Each company has its own culture and they all operate differently. Tesla is manufacturing-centric so most employees work in the factory. Letting execs WFH can create an ivory tower effect. Elon wants to avoid this.

  13. In the short term I think Elon’s approach is fine, but in the mid and long term I think he will find it harder to retain top software engineering talent with this approach if the current trends on WFH continue.

  14. I’m on Elon side with this. A lot of these engineers are over paid anyways and act like they are better than most people. The least they should do is actually get up and go to work. I heard they get incredible SBC too. Go earn your SBC.

    1. With all due respect, engineers are paid according to the same capitalist “logic” as any other high-skill, high-demand profession with far less people qualified and willing to work the positions than necessary/are in demand. Sidenote, if you don’t think engineers are more valuable labourers than most other people, than you just don’t understand what engineering is or how difficult it is. Go get your masters in engineering and see if you even qualify to have your application read by Tesla talent acquisition (they take literally the best engineers in the world, between Tesla and SpaceX); you’re welcome to throw stones when you actually have an appreciation for what you’re talking about.

      PS: I’m definitely not an engineer, I just understand how the things I invest in actually work.

      PPS: Elon’s email is addressed to the executive team, not engineering, incase you didn’t bother reading literally the first lines of the email.

  15. What i find is there are some workers that feels a company owes them more that what was agreed. 40hr. At the office Medical dental etc. if the company does what they agreed to they its only fair for the workers to do the same. If they want to work from home and the company does not allow it, they are free to leave. There was a good point made when comparing apple to tesla, apple has not bring any new product to the market just over price iPhone that loyalty to the brand will diminish. I was one of those who replace my iPhone every year, then 2 years now i hold on for years. I worked from home during and i felt less productive even though i worked more hours, lost of camaraderie etc.

  16. Well, it’ll be interesting to see how each strategy works out for all these companies. Considering remote work at scale is relatively new, let’s sit back and watch where the chips fall.

  17. CNBC Commentator: Tesla isn’t a startup anymore.
    Elon: I’m about to end this man’s whole career.

  18. At this rate we are heading towards 52W LOW – Guaranteed. Q2 expectations, Twitter drama, and now this to Tesla Employess.

  19. Elon talks about how inefficient our vehicle utilization is and the the mind numbing time spent in traffic, then he forces all employees to spend a large portion of their days in mind numbing traffic. If he really cared about sustainability he would have a first principal stance that workplace is flexible, unless your role specifically requires it. I’m very disappointed in Elon recently.

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