Elon Musk Criticizes Remote Workers, Comparing Them to Marie Antoinette

During Tesla’s third-quarter financial-results call, Elon Musk expressed his disapproval of remote work and criticized those advocating for it as being “detached from reality.” Drawing a comparison to Marie Antoinette, Musk questioned the perspective of those who ask why everyone doesn’t work from home.

Musk emphasized the importance of physical presence and dedication by recounting instances of sleeping in the factory himself, highlighting the commitment required in contrast to remote workers. He specifically mentioned factory workers, restaurant workers, and delivery workers who cannot enjoy the same work-from-home privileges.

These remarks abruptly shifted the discussion away from Tesla’s car pricing, which had been the primary focus of the earnings call. After his comments on remote work, Musk returned to emphasizing the significance of cost in Tesla’s operations.

This is not the first time Musk has expressed skepticism about remote work. In May, he referred to it as “morally wrong” in an interview with CNBC and drew parallels to Marie Antoinette’s infamous remark, “let them eat cake.”

Musk’s preference for in-office work may stem from his own workaholic tendencies, such as sleeping in the office, as detailed in Walter Isaacson’s biography. This inclination was also evident after his acquisition of Twitter last year when he imposed 40-hour work weeks in the office and even converted some spaces into makeshift bedrooms.

As the wealthiest individual according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, estimating his net worth at $226 billion, Musk’s comments come amidst Tesla reporting third-quarter revenues of $23.35 billion, falling short of Wall Street expectations.

Insider’s request for comment from Musk and Tesla representatives outside regular business hours went unanswered at the time of writing.