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Musk calls WFM ‘morally wrong’ as office return polices spread

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BlackRock Inc, mandates a four-day, in-office working policy 

Tech mogul Elon Musk has expressed strong disapproval of the trend of working from home (WFH), deeming it “morally wrong” amidst growing calls from employers worldwide to return to the office.

In an interview with CNBC, Musk argued that refusing to resume office work is not only a matter of productivity but also a moral dilemma. He referred to tech workers as the “laptop class” and drew a comparison between remote work and the infamous phrase, “Let them eat cake.”

Musk posed the question, “If you’re going to work from home, are you going to make everyone else who contributed to creating your car come work in the factory? Are you going to force those who prepare and deliver your food to abandon remote work? Does that seem morally right?”

He pointed out the unfairness of requiring some employees to continue working on-site while allowing others to work remotely, calling it “messed up.”

Musk’s stance sharply contrasts with AirBnb CEO Brian Chesky, who criticized fellow CEOs for their office return policies, stating, “I guarantee you that many of these CEOs who are calling people back to the office in New York City are going away to the Hamptons for the summer or going to Europe in August.”

These differing opinions emerged as more executives globally are encouraging employees to return to the workplace. In Australia, the CEO of CR Commercial Property Group labeled those who resist returning as “selfish,” citing the impact of WFH on city vibrancy.

BlackRock Inc, the world’s largest asset manager, has reportedly instructed its staff to return to the office at least four days a week starting September 11, according to Reuters. The memo seen by Reuters stated, “We will shift to at least four days per week in the office, with the flexibility to work from home one day per week.” Similarly, JPMorgan, America’s largest bank, requested its senior staff to resume office work, as did telecommunications company AT&T, which mandated its managers to be present in the office at least three days a week.

These calls coincide with a recent report revealing that many knowledge workers are being denied flexibility, despite 71% of C-level executives acknowledging the positive impact of hybrid and remote work models on employee morale.

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