Musk forced employees to return to the office, and remote work cannot produce great products?

Musk loves China, the Shanghai factory, and the fans here. Of course, his favorite is probably the Chinese employees.

Because they work hard, they forge ahead, they are not afraid to work overtime.

In a recent interview, Musk talked a lot about the differences between Chinese and American employees-Chinese employees are still working at 3:00 in the morning, while Americans don’t want to go to work at all. In fact, the employees of the Tesla factory in Shanghai do work very hard. In order to prevent the new crown virus from affecting the production progress of the factory, hundreds of Tesla employees live and eat in the factory, perfecting this closed-loop system.

▲ Shanghai Tesla Factory

Of course, that's not the point. Musk's main purpose is not to praise Chinese employees, but to say that the Chinese have worked so hard, why don't you Americans even want to go back to the company.

So Musk waved his hand, and everyone, immediately, returned me to the office.

The richest man in the world lets you go back to the office

Musk told employees to stop telecommuting, come back to work, and stay at the company for at least 40 hours a week.

When many company employees began to protest "RTO (Return To Office)" policies and long commutes, Musk did the opposite. On Wednesday morning, every Tesla employee received an email from Musk detailing his request for employees to return to the office.

▲ More and more companies are asking employees to return to the office. Image from: Washington Post

The email, titled "very clear," reads:

Anyone wishing to work remotely must either be in the office 40 hours a week or leave Tesla.

The office has to be where your colleagues are, not some remote "pseudo-office". If you don't come, we'll assume you've resigned.

The higher the position, the more you should be in the office…that's why I live in factories a lot – those on the production line can see me working with them. If I hadn't, Tesla would have gone bankrupt.

▲ The exposed Musk email

Musk also thought that employees might use other large companies as an example — they also have mature businesses and high market capitalizations, but they do not require employees to return to the office to work. In response, Musk chose to respond directly in another email: "When was the last time these companies released a great new product? It's been a while."

It is estimated that many companies feel that they have been hit by a sword in the knee, and it is better to register their names directly.

In contrast, Musk said they are making and have made some of the most exciting and meaningful products on the planet, but these things won't be made by phone calls. Therefore, in an office, it is particularly important to communicate quickly.

▲ The office makes communication easier

However, Musk has never been a big boss close to the people. He has always been strict with employees, and many employees even think he is very strict.

A tweet from Silicon Valley venture capitalist Keith Rabois can see the management style of the world's richest man. Musk found a group of interns walking around while queuing for coffee when he was in Space. He strictly prohibited this behavior, said Seeing them idly procrastinating to buy coffee again, he'll fire them all. Musk even installed surveillance cameras for this purpose to see if employees were "fishing" during working hours.

▲ Strict boss Musk

So far, considering that when Musk bought Twitter, he publicly launched a vote on whether to turn the Twitter office into a shelter, and no one thought he was joking. The phrase "there's no one there now anyway" is a complete dissatisfaction with Twitter for allowing employees to work remotely.

In Musk's view, all employees are working remotely, so your office should not be better.

▲ Twitter is a company that allows flexible working

Alphabet, IBM are returning to the office

In fact, today, when employees want to work remotely, not only Tesla, but also many large companies such as IBM and Alphabet are going upstream.

IBM may be the company that has changed the most.

IBM has always been a model and predecessor company of the telecommuting model. As early as 1979, they tried telecommuting. At that time, in order to alleviate the congestion problem of the mainframe at the headquarters, IBM installed terminals in the homes of five employees, allowing them to Telecommuting.

▲ Remote work makes going to the company no longer the only option

But the founders are not supporters of this model, or will not always be supporters of this model.

IBM used to be very proud of their remote working model. In a 2009 report, IBM said that of the 386,000 employees in 173 countries, about 40% of employees do not have any physical office space, which is a good reason for them. Reduced costs by nearly $2 billion.

But in 2017, IBM, where 40% of its employees did not have a physical office, changed course and eliminated the remote work mechanism, allowing thousands of remote workers to return to the physical office again. At that time, IBM's move was controversial, and some even accused them of hidden layoffs, all to force employees to resign themselves.

▲ IBM calls on employees to return to the office

However, IBM can be regarded as a change many years ago. To see the recent changes, we have to look at Alphabet, the parent company of Google. Its changes can better illustrate a company's entanglement and swing in remote work.

About 30% of Google Ireland's 7,000 employees are working remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic. At the time, people familiar with the matter said that Google internally believed that this ratio was too high.

In 2021, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai sent an email to employees, but this email made employees happier than Musk's. Pichai said they expect 20% of employees will be permanently remote work, and they will start a hybrid office. Mode, the rest of the time can choose the office method, employees can apply for 4 weeks to work in any place every year.

▲ Alphabet employees can also work flexibly

All in all, the flexibility and freedom have attracted a lot of applause from the outside world.

But at the same time, Alphabet provides employees with a Work Location Tool that lets employees understand the impact of office location on pay. Some telecommuting workers, especially those with long commutes, could face pay cuts without changing addresses, according to calculations.

To put it simply, you want to work in a first-tier city in a third-tier city, so the cost of living has dropped, and the salary is indeed much lower than the average level of the place. But the company tells you not to, even if you work remotely, you have to live near the company, and your salary in third-tier cities will also be reduced by 25%. In this case, some people chose to resign, some chose to take a pay cut, and some chose to return to the office.

▲ Alphabet's Work Location Tool

If it is a salary position calculation program or a kind of euphemism to persuade to return, the official request for users to return to the office in April this year is an official notice. Alphabet has employees ready to go back to the office to start a hybrid office model, where they work at least three days a week.

There is a more direct proof that Alphabet wants its employees to go to the office — buying land. Purchased the 400,000-square-meter Central Saint Giles building in London for 1 billion; invested more than $7 billion to open a new US office and expand the data center; broke the record for the most expensive single office building, and plans to put into office space in 2023 use.

▲ Alphabet's building

This is the best embodiment of "disgusting straightness with the mouth". If you say that you don't use it, you are actually buying an office madly.

Sundar Pichai is also actively supporting his own policy. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he said:

Most of our employees will come to the company three days a week. I think we can schedule their time more purposefully so that collaborative and creative work like group meetings, brainstorming, community building is done in that time slot.

So do you want to work from home?

Aifaner has had continuous remote working experience in the past 3 years, so it also has a voice when it comes to this issue. When referring to Musk's new moves in the morning meeting, the editor-in-chief sent a "soul question" to everyone – so you prefer to come to the company or work from home.

Everyone looked at each other or decided to tell the truth, of course…

▲ Remote work, you can sit on the sofa at home

"Of course I prefer to come to the company, right? It's fun to be with everyone!" Before we could tell the truth, the editor-in-chief already gave us the answer. Okay, you are the editor-in-chief, you have the final say.

This is the paradox of telecommuting. Employees like the ease of telecommuting, time can be adjusted, and work just needs to be done, whether you are lying down, sitting or lying on your stomach. And your boss may want to be more involved in your work, see how you collaborate with others, ask you about the progress of a project in just a few steps, or even a meeting can go ahead at any time because you're right next to it.

The former believes that the value of work does not change due to the location of the work, while the latter believes that the value of collaboration needs to rely on face-to-face communication to be stimulated to the greatest extent.

▲ Remote work may also be disturbed by family members

So, what is the correct answer?

"Most of the evidence suggests that efficiency increases when people are at home," said Natacha Postel-Vinay, an economics and financial historian at the London School of Economics. While Almarina Gramozi, a lecturer in economics at King's College London, conducted a large-scale survey of corporate workers in the United States and the United Kingdom. The scale survey shows that the efficiency of employees working from home is no worse than working in the office. However, she also pointed out that similar studies in Japan have shown that Japanese employees are indeed less productive working from home.

And employers who want employees back to the office have more evidence of the need to work together. For example, in 1977, Thomas J. Allen, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, found that the farther apart the desks were at the same time, the less likely it was to communicate. When two employees are more than 30 meters apart, the chances of them communicating on a regular basis are close to zero, let alone in different spaces.

▲ The two office modes are pulling each other. Image from: The New Yorker

You have data to back it up, and I also have scientific theories. Different people and different industries have completely different perceptions of telecommuting. Positions that require collaboration with others are more suitable for work, while positions that rely more on professional skills are more suitable for telecommuting. To be more specific, whether you are a self-disciplined person and what kind of person your boss is will also affect the efficiency of your remote work.

When it comes to telecommuting, everyone has their own beliefs, and they have made their own choices.

▲ Machine learning bulls who are dissatisfied with Apple’s resumption policy and leave

Ian Goodfellow, Apple’s former director of machine learning, chose to leave because he was dissatisfied with Apple’s strict resumption policy. He wrote in a note to his subordinates, “I insist that flexible working is the best policy for my team.”

And Musk also gave a simple and direct one-size-fits-all choice because he was dissatisfied that employees were unwilling to go back to the office: "Either leave, or the company works eight hours a day."

Not too interesting, not too optimistic.

#Welcome to pay attention to the official WeChat account of Aifaner: Aifaner (WeChat: ifanr), more exciting content will be brought to you as soon as possible.

Love Faner | Original link · View comments · Sina Weibo