Elon Musk bans remote working in first email to Twitter staff

The billionaire tells employees there will be 'difficult times ahead' at the social media company

Elon Musk is making widespread changes at Twitter. Reuters
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New Twitter owner Elon Musk emailed his workers for the first time late on Wednesday to prepare them for “difficult times ahead” and to ban remote work unless he personally approved it.

Mr Musk said there was “no way to sugar-coat the message” about the economic outlook and how it would affect an advertising-dependent company like Twitter, according to the email reviewed by Bloomberg News.

The new rules, which apply immediately, require employees to be in the office for at least 40 hours a week, he added.

Twitter has been under Mr Musk’s leadership for close to two weeks, in which time he has dismissed roughly half its workforce and most of its executive suite.

The new boss has increased the price for the Twitter Blue subscription to $8 and attached user verification to it. Mr Musk told workers in the email that he wants to see subscriptions account for half of Twitter’s revenue.

Before Mr Musk’s arrival, Twitter had established a permanent work-from-anywhere arrangement for its employees, many of whom had initially been pushed into remote work by the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was one of the first topics in a call Mr Musk held with Twitter staff after announcing the deal to buy the company earlier in the year. He said then that he was against remote work and would only grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis, as he is doing now.

He has also eliminated “days of rest” from Twitter staff calendars, Bloomberg News reported this month. These were a monthly, companywide day off introduced during the pandemic period. Its removal was another sign of Mr Musk’s impatience with Twitter’s work culture.

“The road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed,” Mr Musk wrote in his missive to employees. In a separate email, he added that “over the next few days, the absolute top priority is finding and suspending any verified bots/trolls/spam”.

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Updated: November 10, 2022, 3:14 PM
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