Elon Musk tells Tesla staff: Go back to the office or go

June 1 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) chief executive Elon Musk has asked employees to return to the office or leave the company, according to an email sent to employees on Tuesday evening and seen by Reuters .

“Everyone at Tesla is required to spend at least 40 hours in the office per week,” Musk said in the email.

“If you don’t show up, we’ll assume you quit.”

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Two sources have confirmed the authenticity of the email reviewed by Reuters. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

Big tech companies in Silicon Valley are not requiring workers to return to the office full-time, amid resistance from some workers and a surge in coronavirus cases.

Tesla moved its headquarters to Austin, Texas, but has one of its factories and engineering base in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“There are of course companies that don’t need it, but when was the last time they shipped a great new product? It’s been a while,” Musk said in the email.

“Tesla has created and will make the most exciting and meaningful products of any company on Earth. It’s not going to happen by phoning it.”

One of Musk’s Twitter followers posted another email that Musk apparently sent to executives asking them to work in the office for at least 40 hours a week or “quit Tesla.”

In response to the tweet, the billionaire, who agreed to take Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) private in a $44 billion deal, said, “They should pretend to work somewhere else.”

In May 2020, Musk reopened a Tesla factory in Fremont, California, defying Alameda County lockdown measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Tesla reported 440 cases at the plant from May through December 2020, according to county data obtained by legal news site Plainsite.

Musk’s rocket company SpaceX reported 132 cases of COVID-19 at its headquarters in the Los Angeles-area town of Hawthorne last year, according to county data.

While some big employers have permanently adopted voluntary work-from-home policies, others, including Alphabet Inc’s Google , are betting it’s best to foster in-person interactions between co-workers.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted in March that Twitter offices would reopen but employees could still work from home if they preferred.

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Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco and Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru and; Editing by Anil D’Silva, Howard Goller and Jonathan Oatis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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