Not even big companies are immune to return-to-office struggles: Tesla reportedly ran into trouble implementing the policy.
According to CNBC, several US-based Tesla employees claimed that the EV carmaker doesn’t have room or resources to bring workers back into the office. The report did not identify who made the revelation since the individuals were not authorised to speak to the media on the company’s behalf.
Tesla’s return-to-office policy might also be impacting employee morale across the company, especially among team members who were allowed to work remotely even before the COVID pandemic, Tesla employees pointed out.
It’s only been three months since the EV carmaker adopted a return-to-office policy after allowing employees to work remotely during the pandemic.
In an internal email, CEO Elon Musk told employees looking to do remote work that they still needed to meet a minimum number of hours in the office. If they couldn’t, then they should resign, he said.
“Anyone who wishes to do remote work must be in the office for a minimum (and I mean *minimum*) of 40 hours per week or depart Tesla. This is less than we ask of factory workers,” Musk wrote.
While the Tesla chief said some exceptions to the policy might be allowed, he made it clear that he would review and approve such requests himself.
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Not ready for workers’ return?
Despite the return-to-office edict, Tesla might not be as ready to receive workers back into its premises as the company had hoped. In the same CNBC report, employees at the company’s San Francisco Bay Area office said there weren’t enough chairs, desk space, parking spots, and other resources when they got back. Even basic office necessities such as charging cords and dongles were allegedly in short supply.
To address the office space issue, Tesla opted to stagger in-office schedules for its staff to two days per week. However, the struggle for workspace was reportedly so dire that some employees had to take their phone calls outdoors. The company allegedly did not build enough conference rooms and phone booths to handle the high number of workers on-site.
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Before the pandemic, Tesla had already allowed some employees to work remotely. This gave the company the opportunity to focus on workforce expansion through international hubs.
However, aside from having a brand new facility in Texas, Tesla purportedly failed to create additional workspaces. It also did not acquire enough supplies for the California and Nevada facilities before implementing the return-to-office policy.