Elon Musk Criticizes Remote Workforce: ‘Laptop Class Dwells in a Fantasy World’

In a recent discussion with CNBC, Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter CEO Elon Musk expressed his strong disapproval of remote work, calling it “ethically incorrect.” Despite being known for his unconventional work habits, Musk insisted on having employees in the office for 40 hours a week.

Musk’s aversion to remote work is not new. After taking over Twitter, he abolished the “work from home forever” policy implemented by former CEO Jack Dorsey and instructed employees to return to the office. A similar directive was given to Tesla staff, stating those who wanted to work from home could “pretend to work elsewhere.”

Elon Musk Criticizes Remote Workforce: 'Laptop Class Dwells in a Fantasy World'

In the CNBC interview, Musk’s remarks on remote work were some of his most forceful yet, as an increasing number of tech executives encourage their teams to return to the office.

“The laptop class is lost in a fantasy world. Look at the cars,” Musk said, referring to Tesla’s factory. “Are people working from home here? Absolutely not. Those who build the cars, service them, construct houses, repair houses, or produce food and other goods that people use—it’s unfair to assume that they must go to work while you don’t. It’s not just about productivity. I believe it’s ethically wrong.”

Musk acknowledged that there might be some exceptions to remote work and clarified that he didn’t expect employees to work seven days a week like he does. Given the amount of time Musk spends tweeting memes and miscellaneous content, this statement is debatable. The billionaire also mentioned that people should take vacations, even though he only takes two or three days off each year.

Elon Musk Criticizes Remote Workforce: 'Laptop Class Dwells in a Fantasy World'

Musk and CNBC’s David Faber discussed various subjects, including Tesla’s resilience during economic instability and his past friendship with Google co-founder Larry Page (they are no longer friends). Faber also questioned Musk about OpenAI, the Sam Altman-led company that created the well-known ChatGPT chatbot, which Musk emphasized “wouldn’t exist without me.”

Regarding Twitter and his occasionally contentious tweets that fuel conspiracy theories, Musk asserted his right to free speech and the ability to say whatever he wanted.

Interestingly, the Twitter CEO mentioned that he wasn’t concerned about losing money due to his tweets.

“I’ll speak my mind. If the result is losing money, then so be it,” Musk told Faber.

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