Elon Musk Ends Remote Work for Twitter Employees

In an email sent late on the evening of November 9th to Twitter staff, CEO Elon Musk announced a ban on working from home and made it clear that employees are to be in the office at least 40 hours a week.

Musk then went on to say, “The road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed,” then in a related Tweet saying, “Please note that Twitter will do lots of dumb things in the coming months. We will keep what works & change what doesn’t.”

This announcement comes just a week after Musk led a mass layoff at Twitter of 3,700 employees including top executives accounting for 50% of Twitter’s workforce.

If his return-to-office policy plays out anything like it did back in May of 2022 at Tesla, some level of backlash can be expected.

How US companies are thinking about remote work

Tesla’s remote work policy:

A leaked email from Elon Musk to Tesla executives back in May revealed an abrupt end to working from home.

In his email Elon stated clearly, “Everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week.” Then went on to say, “Moreover, the ‘office’ must be a main Tesla office, not a remote branch office unrelated to the job duties.”

Google’s remote work policy:

After more than 2 years of working remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Google told San Fransisco Bay area employees they’d have to return to the office starting this past April (2022).

The company’s hybrid work model means most workers will have to work from the office at least three days a week.

Apple’s remote work policy:

After gaining some serious backlash over its original plan to require all employees to return to the office at least 3 days a week, Apple will roll out a pilot program that has some employees return to in-person work two days a week.

Goldman Sachs’ remote work policy

After making his stance clear throughout the pandemic that remote work would not be the “new normal” for Goldman Sachs, CEO David Solomon has set a hard line on requiring employees to return to the office 5 days a week.

Airbnb’s remote work policy:

Perhaps the most progressive take on remote work policy comes from Brian Chesky, the CEO, and co-founder of Airbnb.

Chesky is soon to roll out a new policy in September which would allow his 6,000 employees to work remotely year round, plus up to 3-months of the year in 170 countries in each location.

More so, Airbnb employee salaries will not change if they move elsewhere in the US with a lower cost of living, as their salaries will be determined by a single pay tier for a given role instead of location-based tiers.

Is remote work becoming more common in the US?

While these companies have made their stance on remote work clear, it’s in direct contrast to other major corporations like Meta, Slack, Lyft, Spotify, HubSpot, and Salesforce which have all announced they will offer remote work options indefinitely.

With so much pushback and defiance when it comes to these new “return to office” policies, and so many big players promising remote work options forever, it’s important to consider whether or not remote work hinders or helps companies.

Is remote work beneficial to companies?

How remote work impacts employers is a topic that has been carefully scrutinized and debated since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. But all the evidence seems to be pointing in one clear direction.

Studies have shown that working from home can lead to increased productivity and even go as far as to say that companies that invest in remote or hybrid work policies can boost their profits.

Not to mention, 45% of employees say they would quit their current jobs if their employer began requiring 100% in-person work. This tells us that for the sake of retention alone, the benefits of offering flexible options like remote work, hybrid work, or a 4-day work week are hard to ignore.

Should companies consider a 4-day work week?

Another industry trend that cannot be left out of the conversation is the transition many companies are making to the 4-day work week.

It’s no secret that studies say working less than 40 hours per week can lead to more productivity, making it an attractive option for job seekers and employers alike.

In fact, U.S. government officials introduced legislation in December of 2021 to reduce the five-day workweek from 40 hours to 32 through the “32-Hour Workweek Act.”

With countless benefits beyond increased productivity including fewer employee burnouts, increased flexibility, and improved mental health, a 4-day work week is an option that employers can’t afford to ignore forever.

The final word on US company remote work policies

When 61 percent of workers say they’re interested in remote work, companies that stand firm in their stance on returning to the office run the risk of limiting the talent pool when it comes to recruiting and hiring top industry talent.

Not to mention, with major fortune-500 companies adapting to hybrid work or remote work options, companies — like Twitter — that fail to meet employees where they’re at risk of defiance to new policies, negative impacts on retention, and backlash from the public causing potentially irreversible damage to their brands.

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