This week it emerged that Elon Musk had sent company-wide emails telling staff they are required back in the office for no less than 40 hours a week.
One of the emails with the subject line “Remote work is no longer acceptable”, read:
Anyone who wishes to do remote work must be in the office for a minimum (and I mean *minimum*) of 40 hours per week or depart Tesla. This is less than we ask of factory workers.
In a follow-up email, Musk took a stab at companies which are allowing remote work, saying:
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There are of course companies that don’t require this, but when was the last time they shipped a great new product? It’s been a while.
One such company that doesn’t require office work is Australian tech giant Atlassian, co-founded by Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar.
Today, Farquhar took to Twitter to deliver his response, hitting back at Musk’s notion that working remotely equates to ‘pretending to work’.
Farquhar highlights Atlassian’s “Team Anywhere” model, which came into effect for the business’ then-5700 global staff in April last year.
The policy allows Atlassian staff to work from any location in a country where Atlassian has a corporate entity, and sees salaries based on the costs of the regions employees are based in — in lieu of the ‘cost of living’ scaling method.
“In the past year alone, 42% of our new hires globally live two or more hours from an [Atlassian] office,” Farquhar tweeted in defense of the model’s success.
“There is great talent all over the world — not just within a one hour radius of our offices.”
News from @elonmusk & @tesla today feels like something out of the 1950s: “Everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week”. Very different approach to what we are taking at Atlassian and here’s why. 🧵 (1/5)
— Scott Farquhar (@scottfarkas) June 2, 2022
Former PM Julia Gillard outlined some office-benefits — specifically for women — at a Global Institute for Women’s Leadership event, noting that the imbalance between men and women choosing to go to the office could see those at home “invisible behind the screen”.
Gillard did however say that flexibility was “fantastic” for workers generally, but there is still risk involved.
As for Atlassian’s ultimate flexibility model, Farquhar admits it isn’t yet completely seamless.
“This is the future of how we will work. Highly distributed, highly flexible,” he told his 40,000-strong Twitter following.
“Yes, right now it’s not perfect, but we have to experiment to get it right.”
Despite the current imperfections, Farquhar remains optimistic about the future of Atlassian and Team Anywhere.
“We’re setting our sights on growing Atlassian to 25K employees by FY26,” Farquhar announced.
“Any Tesla employees interested?”