Musk’s first email to Twitter staff ends remote work

New Twitter Inc. owner Elon Musk emailed his workers for the first time late Wednesday to prepare them for “difficult times ahead” and ban remote work unless he personally approved it.

Musk said there was “no way to sugarcoat the message” about the economic outlook and how it will affect an advertising-dependent company like Twitter, according to the email reviewed by Bloomberg News. The new rules, which kick in immediately, will expect employees to be in the office for at least 40 hours per week, he added.

Twitter has been under Musk’s leadership for close to two weeks, in which time he has dismissed roughly half its workforce and most of its executive suite. The new boss has upped the price for the Twitter Blue subscription to $8 and attached user verification to it. Musk told workers in the email that he wants to see subscriptions account for half of Twitter’s revenue.

Prior to Musk’s arrival, Twitter had established a permanent work-from-anywhere arrangement for its workers, many of whom had initially been pushed into remote work by the pandemic. It was one of the first topics in an all-hands call Musk held with Twitter staff after announcing the deal to buy the company earlier in the year. He said then that he’s against remote work and would only grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis, as he’s doing now.

He has also eliminated “days of rest” from Twitter staff calendars, Bloomberg News reported this month, which was a monthly, companywide day off introduced during the pandemic period. Its expiration gave another sign of Musk’s impatience with Twitter’s existing work culture.

“The road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed,” Musk wrote in his missive to employees. In a separate email, he added that “over the next few days, the absolute top priority is finding and suspending any verified bots/trolls/spam.” – BLOOMBERG