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Tesla reportedly doesn’t have enough desks after Musk threatens to fire remote employees

Tesla reportedly doesn’t have enough desks after Musk threatens to fire remote employees


Even if they could sit down, the Wi-Fi signal was too weak to work

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An illustration of Elon Musk.
Illustration by Kristen Radtke / The Verge; Getty Images

After Tesla CEO Elon Musk commanded remote employees to return to work or else lose their jobs, the company was reportedly ill-prepared to welcome back its workers. According to a report from The Information, employees arrived at Tesla’s Fremont, California facility only to find a lack of parking spots, no desk to sit at, and crappy Wi-Fi (where’s Starlink when you need it?).

Musk clearly didn’t think this one through.

Tesla’s headcount has doubled since 2019, The Information notes, now sitting at 99,210 people. Earlier this month, Musk cited excess hiring and a “super bad feeling” about the economy as reasons for a hiring freeze and company-wide layoffs that reportedly includes both salaried and hourly workers.

Salaried workers make up about one-third of employees at the company, although it’s unclear how many of them work at the office or at Tesla’s factories. During the pandemic, most of the employees who used to report to Tesla’s Fremont campus, which consists of office buildings and a factory, stayed home — at least up until Musk called everyone back to work.

Current employees at Tesla told The Information that those who drove to work at the Fremont factory struggled to find a place to park. Some reportedly opted to park their cars at the nearby BART station instead and then get shuttled to work by Tesla.

Inside the office, The Information reports some workers didn’t even have a place to sit. The company reportedly decided to repurpose certain areas of the office during the pandemic and also didn’t account for a larger team. According to The Information, the desk situation was so bad that managers told some employees to work from home anyway. Even if employees could sit down, the Wi-Fi signal was too weak for them to work.

Musk’s plan to get employees back to work was partially foiled — by himself. But Musk is a busy guy. He’s got SpaceX to run, too, and things seem to be going well (if that means potentially illegally firing employees who criticize your behavior). Musk’s also in the middle of buying Twitter or at least bickering with the company about how many of its users are bots. He’s already made his feelings known about remote work at Twitter as well, which he’ll only allow for those who do “excellent” work. Twitter employees, brace yourselves.