Tesla Employees Say Fremont Doesn’t Have Enough Space for Return to Office: Report

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s almost authoritarian mandate for executive employees to return to the office or “pretend to work somewhere else” is facing a bit of a hiccup, at least at the company’s Fremont factory.

According to a report from The Information, workers who have returned to the corporate offices in Tesla’s Fremont complex since Musk scrapped remote work at the company have faced several complications making it counter-productive to work at the office (via Business Insider).

Some of the workers told The Information that there simply isn’t enough desk space and parking space at the Fremont site to accommodate a full-scale return-to-office. What’s more, Wi-Fi at the office was also too weak for employees to get their work done.

Tesla’s Fremont factory hit a daily production record earlier this month, and the company is constantly looking to boost production even higher. It’s also no secret that the facility is short on space.

However, the problem isn’t necessarily a result of Tesla repurposing space at the site that had been sitting idle since executives started working from home (which the company likely has done to some extent). Instead, Tesla simply has more than double the employees it did when the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing.

Tesla’s workforce has grown from 48,000 in 2019 to nearly 100,000 last year. The bulk of the company’s new hires are on the assembly lines, but there is more salaried staff as well. You can’t fit a materially larger number of people in the same offices now, can you?

Some of the workers said Fremont managers are asking employees to come into the office fewer than five days a week due to space constraints. The directive directly contradicts Musk’s, which required all employees to spend at least 40 hours per week in the office.

Musk has previously said he is biased in favor of in-office, in-person work. Now that the issues plaguing Tesla’s corporate offices have come to light, they will probably be resolved promptly to facilitate a return-to-office.

Musk is also planning on cutting Tesla’s salaried staff by 10% in favour of increasing hourly workers. As regretful a thought as it may be, that might help with the desk space situation too.