Billionaire Elon Musk outlined his views on remote work in no uncertain terms this week, declaring that working from home is “morally wrong.”
The Tesla founder and Twitter owner, who has claimed to work seven days a week, said in an interview with CNBC’s David Faber that employees are more productive in person.
But he also expressed disdain for white-collar workers who work from home on a classroom basis, requiring most service workers to do their jobs on site.
“There are exceptions, but I think the whole notion of work-from-home is like a fake Marie Antoinette quote, ‘Let them eat cake,'” he said.
You’ll have people who make your food that gets delivered [who] can’t work from home; The people who come fix your house, they can’t work from home, but you can?
“Does this seem morally right? It’s messed up,” Musk said.
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Musk also took aim at bosses who work from home while overseeing employees who have to show up in person to do their jobs, telling “everyone not to work from home”.
It is wrong to assume that yes, they have to go to work but you don’t. It’s not just about productivity, I think it’s morally wrong, he told CNBC.
Many large employers in the US and abroad have settled on the hybrid work model, believing that employees reward the flexibility and enjoy the time and cost savings that don’t come from office commuting.
Musk highlighted the difference between office workers and those whose work can only be performed on a factory floor, such as auto workers. The laptop class is living in la-la land. Like I said, look at the cars. Are people working from home here? Not at all, Musk said.
Not surprisingly, the CEOs of Tesla, Space X and most recently Twitter require their employees to work in person. Musk said that he himself works almost every day, taking only two to three days off a year.
“I work seven days a week, but I’m not expecting others to do the same,” he said.