Tesla is tracking office attendance and sending emails to employees who haven't 'badged in' often enough


Tesla is monitoring employees' office attendance, said a Tesla employee, and posts on the professional network app Blind.

On Tuesday, a Tesla employee posted a screenshot to Blind of an automated email from Tesla. The email notified the person that they hadn't used their badge to enter a Tesla facility for at least 16 days over the past month. A Tesla employee confirmed to Insider the authenticity of the email.

A Tesla spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.

"This is an automated notification," the email read. "You are receiving this email because there is no record of you using your badge to enter a Tesla facility on at least 16 days over the 30-day period ending on June 28. As a reminder, all employees are expected to be back in the office, full-time. We realize that there are various reasons why you may not have badged in, including illness, vacation, or traveling for business. Whatever the case, please clear the reason for your absence with your manager by email, with a copy also sent to absence@tesla.com."

Another Blind post about Tesla said the new policy could be a deterrent for workers. 

"This feels wrong," the person wrote. "I can't quite put it into words why it bothers me, it feels like it's an overstep. It's controlling. It's disrespectful."

Blind is an anonymous forum for verified employees to discuss company issues. The platform verifies users' identities via their company emails. Neither Blind user responded to a request for comment in time for publication.

On May 31, Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO, issued an ultimatum to Tesla staff, calling for them to return to the office for a minimum of 40 hours a week or quit, reports said. The billionaire has said the move is part of an effort to promote equality between factory workers — who were required to work in person throughout the pandemic — and executives.  

On Monday, The Information reported that Tesla employees were having difficulty finding desk space and parking spots at Tesla's Fremont factory amid Musk's bid for Tesla's almost 100,000-person workforce to fully return to the office. The publication reported that some managers told workers to come in fewer than five days a week because of the lack of space — a direct conflict with Musk's mandate.

Tesla is not the first to start tracking employee sign-ins. In April, Insider was the first to report that JPMorgan had begun tracking office attendance using "dashboards" and "reports." The company used the data to enforce return-to-office quotas, including through calls and emails from managers to staffers who were not meeting JPMorgan's return-to-office expectations, Insider previously reported.

At the time, multiple employees told Insider the new policy had led them to search for jobs elsewhere.

Tesla staffers could have a similar response. Earlier this month, recruiters at major companies, including Amazon and Microsoft, began targeting Tesla employees on LinkedIn who could be averse to Musk's return-to-office edict. 

Tesla's new policy comes after Musk said he plans to eliminate about 10% of salaried workers because of concerns regarding the future of the US economy. 

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