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Open Letter to Elon Musk Re: All Hands on Deck — Back to the Office

Dear Elon Musk,

A couple of months ago you emailed your employees stating that remote work is no longer acceptable and insisting that they return to the office at least 40 hours per week. Was this because your internal data was showing that employees were not achieving measurable results for the customer?

I’ve been a management and change implementation leader for over 20 years and I know that advancing workplace culture to keep pace with how contemporary society functions is not easy. Culture is like a freight train barreling down the tracks, and it takes an enormous amount of energy to alter its course. Workplace culture operates on decades of deeply ingrained and conditioned beliefs about how work is supposed to happen, where it takes place, when it starts and stops, how people should be managed, and what leadership looks like.

I am proposing that we pause and reflect upon whether or not these beliefs are still relevant today when the internet, personal Marsdevices, smartphones, email, and a myriad of 21st-century innovations enable us to connect and collaborate with one another easily and effortlessly.

As we are all aware, one of the outcomes of the pandemic is that employees have been more vocal about the way we work and how it is no longer working for them. It is not surprising that CEOs are struggling with how to respond in order to continue to attract and retain the talented employees they need to achieve results.

Moving forward, what if we considered letting go of our deeply held beliefs about work? What if we changed the dialogue? Instead of talking about when and where people work, what if we started talking about what it is we need to achieve? What if employees started each day with clarity around the work? What if you gave employees the freedom to choose how they accomplish the work in concert with others in the most efficient and effective way? All of this is possible in a Results-Only Work Environment.

Elon, have we become too complacent because it’s hard to change? Are we preserving a work culture worth keeping? Are our old ways of working really what’s best for Tesla’s employees and customer?

I agree with you that if you want the future to be good, you need to take action. I am reaching out to you today to offer to help you create a future of work that is worth getting excited about.



Kindest regards,

Jody Thompson

CEO and Founder of CultureRx

Creator of the Results-Only Work Environment™ (ROWE)