“Like something from the 1950s.” Australian tech giant CEO Musk trades blows over remote work ban.

“News from @Elon Musk & @you’re here today looks like something from the 1950s.”

It was Scott Farquhar, co-founder and CEO of Australian software group Atlassian, taking a swipe at the Tesla founder’s apparent edict this week against his working-from-home employees.

The debate over companies struggling to bring employees back to the office as workers try to achieve some balance in their lives after flexible pandemic arrangements has been reopened after an allegedly leaked email from Elon Musk to his employees surfaced earlier this week.

“Anyone who wants to work remotely must be in the office for a minimum (and I mean ‘minimum’) of 40 hours per week or leave Tesla,” the email allegedly said. When asked to comment in a Twitter thread on what options employees have if they refuse, Musk replied, “They should pretend to work somewhere else.”

In a Twitter thread, Farquhar, whose $50 billion company is listed on Nasdaq TEAM,
went so far as to invite all disgruntled Tesla workers to join his company, saying a minimum 40-hour week in the office was “a very different approach” to Atlassian’s.

“Atlassian employees choose where and how they want to work every day — we call it Team Anywhere. This has been key to our continued growth,” he said. “Why? This is the future of our way of working. Very distributed, very flexible. Yes, at the moment it’s not perfect, but we have to experiment to get it right.

He also attached a map showing the global reach of employees, said they hoped to reach 25,000 workers by 2026 (the company had just over 6,000 in 2021), attaching the career page of company and asking, “Are any Tesla employees interested?

Atlassian said in 2020 that its staff could stay home forever and was named the 23rd best company to work for in the world in 2021. Tesla, meanwhile, saw hundreds of COVID-19 cases between May and December 2020 after on-site work continued against state and federal health recommendations.

An apparent demand by Tesla for its employees to come to the office or quit as a survey shows 52% of the global workforce would rather take a pay cut than give up remote work. In a tight labor market, some say workers have the upper hand here.

As for Musk, who rarely seems to shy away from a confrontation on Twitter, he offered this answer to AtIasian’s best guy:

“The above set of tweets illustrates why recessions perform a vital economic cleansing function.”

Lily: Elon Musk tells workers to return to the office or quit. The gloves are off: “Tesla launches its own big local resignation”

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