Tesla has had trouble getting its employees back into the physical workplace as businesses across the country have made the transition back to "normalcy" too soon.
Compared to the company-wide absentee rate of 10%, CNBC reported on Wednesday that at least 1/8 of workers at one Tesla factory were absent on any given day. Reports that Tesla didn't have enough desks for its returning employees seemed to be confirmed by this report, making matters even worse for Tesla.
Despite CEO Elon Musk's public outcry in July over tardiness, employees who wanted to work from home continued to do so in significant numbers.
It will be assumed that you have resigned if you don't show up for work today," Musk wrote in an email. "Anyone who wants to work from home must spend at least (and I mean at least) 40 hours a week in the office or leave Tesla," Musk said.
Tesla had hoped that workers would return to the office for three days per week, but it quickly became clear that there weren't enough parking spots or even chairs to accommodate everyone.
It's not surprising that workers are short on supplies when demand is high and supply shortages persist. CNBC discovered that despite Musk's demands that all employees come into the office to work, some employees were told to work from home due to overcrowding.
The morale crisis at Musk's company may be more serious than the shortage of desks. CNBC reports that a significant decline in employee satisfaction has resulted from Musk's sudden return to work policy. This is a major issue for a mission-driven company like Tesla.
CNBC reports that this trend has been exacerbated by layoffs in June, employees being fired by phone while on vacation, and companies rescinding offers of employment that had already been accepted.
CNBC reports that Tesla has doubled down and is more closely monitoring employee attendance rather than relaxing the strict attendance policy or, you know, providing workers with desks and chairs. Apparently, Musk now gets absenteeism reports once a week.
It looks like Musk is losing control — and the support of his staff — rather than like they are being disciplined reasonably.