Elon Musk has declared an end to remote working for his employees at Tesla.
“Everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week,” he wrote. “If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned.”
He also told Twitter employees that they can only work from home as a result of “exceptional” behaviour.
But, is office working truly a model for success?
What is popular among workers?
A new report from hybrid office software company Eden found that full-time remote work is the least popular option among tech workers.
Although, the vast majority (95%) say it is important to have the ability to work remotely at least occasionally.
It was also found that the majority of tech employees want to work from the office, at least part-time: when asked about their preferred way of working, hybrid work was the most popular option among tech workers: nearly half (48%) of respondents said they prefer hybrid work, compared to 34 percent who selected full-time in-office and 18 percent who said full-time remote.
Even though full-time remote is the least popular work preference for tech workers, they still value having the option.
Nearly all (95%) of respondents say it’s very or somewhat important to have the ability to work remotely – 63 percent of whom say not having this option would be a deal breaker.
In fact, 64 percent of tech employees who currently work remotely full- or part-time say it would take more than a 20 percent pay increase to get them to work in-office 5 days a week.
Also, Gen Z tech workers reported a want to go to the office, but boomers would rather stay working from home. Gen Z tech workers’ top work preference is working full-time in the office, while the millennials (50%) and Gen X (47%) of tech prefer hybrid work arrangements.
Commenting on the remarks by Elon Musk, Rupert Morrison, Economist, and Founder of Orgvue said:
“The latest comments from Elon Musk are another example of how businesses are obsessed with how many days people should be in the office, when really they should be focused on how to make a compelling reason to be in the office. Throwing down arbitrary mandated days, without adjusting the reason ‘why’ is inefficient and misses the bigger picture.
“Instead, leaders should be thinking ‘what can my team learn from each other today’ and building an apprenticeship approach to on-the-job learning and development. This is fundamental to getting the right work done and creating a cadence of continuous development in the organisation.
“No one is expecting the return of the full five day a week in the office model. But we need to be utterly clear on the skills and competencies that benefit from in person engagement, and create an exciting, enjoyable and ultimately compelling approach to nurturing those skills in an office environment. If you get that right, no mandated office time will be necessary – people will just want to be in.
“This is a conundrum that’s thrown business leaders into a state of flux, feeling like they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, unable to make a decision for fear of getting it wrong. But by focusing on the fundamentals and dialling up the nurturing of skills through apprenticeship, they might just be able to drive an outcome that balances the needs of the business and its people, where everyone chooses to buy into the compelling reasons to be together.”
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview. With a master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.