Elon Musk’s plan to get employees back in the office is hitting a bit of a speed bump: There aren’t enough desks or parking spots for returning workers.
Tesla’s most productive factory, located in Fremont, Calif., has struggled to accommodate the influx of employees responding to Musk's new in-office mandate, The Information's Becky Peterson reported. Employees told The Information that a hiring surge at the company and remodeled parts of the office have made for crowded space. A lack of communication from Tesla’s dwindling human resources department has only exacerbated the issue.
Workers have returned to an overflowing parking lot and resorted to parking at the local transit station, resuming a pre-pandemic problem. Once employees shuttled to the office, some found there was no desk for them to work from or stable enough Wi-Fi to do their jobs. They told The Information that some managers told them to work from home some days because there weren’t enough workstations.
Musk made his stance on remote work clear earlier this month, when a thread of leaked emails revealed that he required everyone at the company to spend at least 40 hours (a full workweek) in offices. He said his presence in Tesla factories is what led to the company’s success, adding that he’ll assume workers who don’t return to office have resigned.
He cited the now overcrowded Fremont facility specifically, stating that employees must return to a major office. “Moreover, the ‘office’ must be a main Tesla office, not a remote branch office unrelated to the job duties, for example being responsible for Fremont factory human relations, but having your office be in another state,” he wrote.
Some executives have pushed back against what they perceive as a “tone-deaf” ultimatum, claiming that CEO presence is overrated and that flexibility is imperative when trying to keep and recruit employees throughout the Great Resignation.
Like Tesla, companies that have tried to implement hybrid or fully in-person work policies have met challenges as employees resist the commute back to headquarters and the idea of “returning to normal.” Employees at Apple have threatened to quit over the company’s hybrid model, and Google has struggled to figure out the logistics of bringing employees back. And only half of Goldman Sachs employees showed up in early March following an in-office mandate, with junior bankers threatening to quit.
Musk’s back-to-office transition is proving just as complicated, especially as he reportedly lays off salaried staff. He may be ready for the return of some workers, but Tesla's Fremont office sure isn’t.
This story was originally featured on Fortune.com