Elon Musk ends remote work for Twitter staff

First email to employees warns of ‘arduous’ work ahead

New Twitter 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.

Mr 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. 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 Mr 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.

Mr Musk told workers in the email that he wants to see subscriptions account for half of Twitter’s revenue. Before his 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 he 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.

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

“The road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed,” Mr 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”.

Irish MEP Deirdre Clune warned that Mr Musk was “in for a block wall” from the European Union if his changes at the company are in contravention of the bloc’s rules.

Speaking in Brussels, she said Mr Musk “cannot act as he has stated” regarding changes to the platform because he will “need to follow what is stated” in the EU’s Digital Services Act. The Fine Gael MEP said Mr Musk could “flex his muscles in the US but the legislation will be pointed out to him from this side”.

Her views echoed similar comments made by European Commission officials Thierry Breton and Margrethe Vestager, who were responsible for bringing in the DSA legislation.

Separately, Twitter’s information security chief Lea Kissner announced by tweet that he is leaving the company. Mr Kissner joined Twitter last year as head of privacy engineering and was made the chief information security officer in January.

Chief privacy officer Damien Kieran and chief compliance officer Marianne Fogarty are also reported to have resigned their positions. – Bloomberg / Reuters