Innovator and CEO Elon Musk recently sat down in an interview with CNBC’s David Faver and, in the interview, tore into what he called the “laptop class.” Specifically, he argued that they should not claim to be on a moral high ground working from home, as everyone needs to go back to work for moral and productivity reasons.
Speaking on that, he first tackled the productivity angle of the argument, saying, “I’m a big believer that people are more productive when they’re in person.“
He then characterized it as hypocritical for people to make others go to work while they virtue signal working from home, saying, “It’s like, really, you’re gonna work from home and you’re gonna make everyone else who made your car come work at the factory? You’re gonna make the people who make your food that gets delivered that they can’t work from home? That, you know, the people that come fix your house; they can’t work from home? But you can. Does that seemed morally right? That’s messed up.”
He next got to the “moral” aspect of the situation, saying, “It’s a productivity issue, but it’s also a moral issue. ou also get off the god-d*** moral high horse with the work from home bulls***. Because they’re asking everyone else to not work from home while they do. It’s wrong.”
He then returned to bashing the laptop class and explaining how he thinks that it is ridiculous that they are working from home while people doing real things have to be in person, saying, “The laptop class is living in la la land, okay. But as I said, the — you can’t, but look at the cars, are people working from home here? Of course not. So people were building cars, servicing the cars, building houses, fixing houses, making the food, making all the things that people consume. It’s messed up to assume that yes, they have to go to work, but you don’t. How is that — that is, it’s not just a productivity thing. I think it’s morally wrong.”
Watch him here:
Elon famously ended remote work at Twitter shortly after he bought it, doing so in a 2:30 am email in which he said:
Sorry that this is my first email to the whole company, but there is no way to sugarcoat the message.
Frankly, the economic picture ahead is dire, especially for a company like ours that is so dependent on advertising in a challenging economic climate. Moreover, 70% of our advertising is brand, rather than specific performance, which makes us doubly vulnerable!
That is why the priority over the past ten days has been to develop and launch Twitter Blue Verified subscriptions (huge props to the team!). Without significant subscription revenue, there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn. We need roughly half of our revenue to be subscription.
Of course, we will still then be significantly reliant on advertising, so I am spending time with our sales & partnerships teams to ensure that Twitter continues to be appealing to advertisers. This is the Spaces discussion that Robin, Yoel and I hosted today:
[Links to a Twitter Spaces recording called “Elon Q&A: Advertising & the Future.”]
The road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed. We are also changing Twitter policy such that remote work is no longer allowed, unless you have a specific exception. Managers will send the exceptions lists to me for review an approval.
Starting tomorrow (Thursday), everyone is required to be in the office for a minimum of 40 hours per week. Obviously, if you are physically unable to travel to an office or have a critical personal obligation, then your absence is understandable.
I look forward to working with you to take Twitter to a whole new level. The potential is truly incredible!
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded interview
"*" indicates required fields