Tesla’s Back to Work Push

Tesla’s Back to Work Push

Musk’s ‘pretend to work’ workers productivity had dramatically increased – but yep he’s started to monitor employees attendance at the office, by tracking their badges and chasing up workers who are absent.

The message is “spend 40 hours per week in the office or find another job”.

Musk’s remote work ban for Tesla and SpaceX employees challenges the “work from anywhere” movement and brings a new perspective to what was hoped to be a new found balance for many.

Its been recorded globally that it was quicker to complete work (52%) and that they had fewer distractions (53%). Further to this, proprietary data from employee visibility leader ’Prodoscore showed they enjoyed a 47% YoY productivity growth in 2020. Wellbeing and happy employee aspects aside, it is a telling set of stats and therefore puzzling to us as what there is to argue about.

Albrecht Ritschl, an professor of economic history argues that “Time spent at the office is not the same thing as working hard,” Ritschl said. And indeed the data proves it. But for many companies this is not ringing true and they are now managing the ‘back to the office’ push.

Let’s for a minute consider Musk’s point of view – yes its true for such a big technology giant security has a reported 54% greater risk while managed through remote workers. A big concern for all technology based companies.

And also there’s the fact we don’t get to collaborate quite so efficiently perhaps, especially when managing very complex technical tasks – nothing beats human contact for clarity.

But wow, calls have been up 230% and email activity up 57% for heaven’s sake! So yes remote relies on impersonal communications so heavily – we know this but Is this good business? Maybe its about more balance and less black and white thinking. So does Musk have it right?

Musk has not been alone in his plight. Google, Apple, and a range of other companies have begun to institute mandatory in-office work days for many employees. Apple suffered a series of worker complaints over its “inflexible” hybrid work policy and even lost a talented machine-learning director to Google because of it.

For us the numbers decide it sure and it works for us, but frankly we rather like our people being happy – we need them to be happy and this sits at the top of our values as a company. So for us it works but also because it suits our proposition – as each business is different logic tells us we all need to ‘adjust to suit’.

However the day we have to track and make demands of our teams about where they work will be a sad day. It’s hard getting it right and so although the tech giants seem a bit short sighted maybe they are just after a balance that ensures security, better communications and getting back a bit of that office comradery? Maybe?

So sure, the big boys have the power to make these demands, but few companies have this bargaining power or the desire – maybe remote working is a benefit only offered by those outside of the tech elite? And a benefit best enjoyed by those with the service & proposition that enables it.