"The laptop class is living in La La Land," said last week the owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, in an interview with the CNBC medium in which he harshly criticized the class of professionals who work at home because, according to in their opinion, they live in a fantasy world.
Despite the fact that the entrepreneur is passionate about controversy, the phrase has gone around the world for its harsh criticism of remote work, always championed by technology companies, especially since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
"It is not only a matter of productivity, but of moral superiority. Are you really going to telecommute and make the rest of the people who produce your car go to the factory? Can the people who make your food telecommute? The people who can fix your house can't telecommute, but can you? Is this morally right?” the Tesla owner questioned.
His strong conviction already caused Twitter workers to return to the office full-time in November of last year. The billionaire established an inflexible policy, very unusual in the technology sector. However, 100% remote work has also not become the norm once the pandemic is over.
In fact, the big tech companies want their employees back in the office. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy made it abundantly clear in February in an open letter: “In person, people tend to be more engaged, observant, and connected to what's happening in meetings. Collaborating and inventing is more effective and you also learn more." Since then, the e-commerce giant has forced its employees to return to the office at least three days a week.
Apple has opted for the same policy, although it has not been able to escape the controversy among employees. In the summer, they considered that their plan to set specific days – Monday, Tuesday and Thursday – to go to the office was too rigid an obligation for their productive needs. Finally, the company left a free day of choice to each work team.
In the case of Alphabet – the parent of Google and YouTube – the policy is the same (3 days in the office, 2 at home), although the company has opened up the possibility of working whole weeks from wherever you want the worker With some exceptions, such as the YouTube Music division, which has created unrest because it forces workers to go to the office five working days. As a result of the change in conditions, the workers have threatened to go on strike due to the added costs of traveling to the physical headquarters every day.
Microsoft is a bit more flexible than the rest of the companies mentioned as it allows some positions to work completely remotely and others to go to the office half of the days. Of the big tech giants, Meta – owner of Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp – is the one that maintains the full-time work-from-home policy for those employees who wish to do so. However, in March, Mark Zuckerberg was open to increasing the days in person at the office. Amid the big layoffs and the questionable commitment to the metaverse, the company has yet to take any firm steps with a decision that seems unpopular among the most privileged workers in the market.