Twitter CEO Elon Musk criticized the current work-from-home lifestyle this week, calling out those who take part in the “laptop class” and insisting that everyone needs to be back to work for moral and productivity reasons.
In an interview with CNBC’s David Faber, Musk discussed the possibility of new hires after the massive layoffs seen at the company and his recent CEO hiring.
“I’m a big believer that people are more productive when they’re in person,” he said.
Musk went on to say that he saw the issue as both moral and productive, citing the unfairness of those in the “laptop class” continuing to work from home while others, such as the people who build cars, aren’t able to do the same.
“It’s messed up to assume that yes, they have to go to work, but you don’t. How is that—that is, it’s not just a productivity thing. I think it’s morally wrong,” he stated.
He further criticized the lifestyle of those working from home, calling them out for being on a “moral high horse” and refusing to be productive in-person.
“The laptop class is living in la la land, okay,” he said. “But as I said, the—you can’t, but look at the cars, are people working from home here? Of course not. So people were building cars, servicing the cars, building houses, fixing houses, making the food, making all the things that people consume. It’s messed up to assume that yes, they have to go to work, but you don’t. How is that—that is, it’s not just a productivity thing. I think it’s morally wrong.”
Musk’s criticism has sparked an intense debate among workers about the importance of staying productive in person. With so many businesses continuing to rely on remote work to keep up productivity levels, it remains to be seen how strongly the push for in-person productivity is embraced. For now, however, it appears that Musk’s words of caution have been heard, as more and more people start to think twice before making the choice to work from home.