Not enough desks and parking spots, wobbly Wi-Fi: Welcome back to the office, Tesla staff

The Register - Mon Jun 27 22:47

Employees at Tesla suffered spotty Wi-Fi and struggled to find desks and parking spots when they were returned to work at the office following orders from CEO Elon Musk.

Most tech companies are either following a hybrid work model or are still operating fully remotely. Musk, however, wants his automaker's staff back at the office working for at least 40 hours a week. Those who fail to return risk losing their jobs, he warned in an internal email earlier this month.

"Everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week. Moreover, the office must be where your actual colleagues are located, not some remote pseudo office. If you don't show up, we will assume you have resigned," he wrote.

But the electric car maker appears to be ill-equipped to face the influx of people returning to its site in Fremont, California. There were not enough desks for employees and some complained of crappy Wi-Fi signals, sapping their ability to work. This is because the biz hired many more people and adjusted its office space during the pandemic, leading to shortages of desks and whatnot when everybody showed up as ordered, according to The Information. 

Tesla reportedly doubled its workforce from 2019 to 2021, growing to 99,210 employees. Fremont is home to the company's largest factory, with over 20,000 workers, and many more employees work nearby at its corporate offices. Parking spots were full and spilled over to the nearest BART public transport station. Managers reportedly advised staff to not come into the office five days a week as the company struggled to handle the new return-to-work policy.

The automaker, which dissolved its internal PR department, did not immediately respond to The Register's request for comment.

Musk previously said Tesla would have to pause hiring and cut ten per cent of its workforce due to a "super-bad feeling" about the economy as the US looks to enter a recession amid rising inflation rates, according to Reuters. Some newly hired staff members were axed weeks into their jobs, Bloomberg reported.

Production of its not-quite-autonomous electric cars has slowed as its factory in Shanghai, China, had to close due to strict lockdown orders in April. Musk also sold $8.4 billion worth of Tesla shares that same month in a bid to find money to acquire Twitter. Tesla's share price steadily dropped in May and hasn't bounced back yet. It was down 0.32 percent as of writing. ®