Elon Musk bashed remote work in a meeting with Twitter employees on Thursday — after dialing in 10 minutes late from what appeared to be a hotel room.
The Tesla CEO, who has committed to buying Twitter for $44 billion, told jittery Twitter staffers that it is “much better if you are on location physically” while working, according to multiple reports on the meeting.
However, Musk said that Twitter could make exceptions for the very best employees.
“If someone can only work remotely and they’re exceptional, it wouldn’t make sense to fire them,” Musk said.
Following the meeting, some Twitter employees circulated memes about how to make themselves seem “exceptional” so they could continue to work remotely, CNBC reported.
The social media company currently allows most employees to work remotely indefinitely.
During the highly-anticipated event, Musk appeared to ignore the irony of demanding employees come into the office while showing up late to a virtual meeting.
Musk’s internet connection seemed to be spotty and his sound cut out at points during the meeting, according to reports.
At Tesla, Musk has taken a hard line toward remote work, ordering all employees back to the office full-time — with extremely limited exceptions.
“Anyone who wishes to do remote work must be in the office for a minimum (and I mean *minimum*) of 40 hours per week or depart Tesla,” Musk wrote in an email to corporate staff earlier in June. “This is less than we ask of factory workers.”
“If there are particularly exceptional contributors for whom this is impossible, I will review and approve those exceptions directly,” Musk added. “Moreover, the ‘office’ must be a main Tesla office, not a remote branch office unrelated to the job duties.”
As screenshots of the Tesla email circulated on Twitter, one user asked Musk what he would say to any employees who think in-person work is an “antiquated concept.”
“They should pretend to work somewhere else,” Musk said.
If Musk’s Twitter deal goes through, he will be in charge of five companies: Twitter, Tesla, SpaceX, Nurealink and the Boring Company.
If Musk were to spend 40 hours working in every company’s office each week, that would require 200 hours — an impossible feat, since there are only 168 hours in a week.