Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar hits back at Elon Musk over WFH criticism, opens the door to Tesla staff


Atlassian founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar. Source: supplied.

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:

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.”

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?”


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Sam Richards
Sam Richards
25 days ago

I bet on Elon to win this encounter

Peter R
Peter R
24 days ago
Reply to  Sam Richards

Don’t count on it. Elon thinks people will work for him like he’s some kind of tech messiah. Elon and his fans have an over inflated view of Tesla and other companies will achieve more and provide better working options.

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