'Something out of the 1950s': Atlassian CEO hits out at Musk's return-to-office order

'There is great talent all over the world - not just within a one-hour radius of our offices'

'Something out of the 1950s': Atlassian CEO hits out at Musk's return-to-office order

Just recently, Tesla chief executive officer (CEO) Elon Musk stirred up controversy after ordering his employees to return to workplaces full time.

Some supported it, some went against it – and the CEO of the Australian software firm Atlassian belonged in the latter.

In a series of tweets, CEO Scott Farquhar took a swipe on Musk's order to return to offices as "something out of the 1950s."

"News from [Elon Musk] & [Tesla] today feels like something out of the 1950s: 'Everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week,'" he said on Twitter.

According to Farquhar, it is a very different approach compared to what they are taking over Atlassian.

"Atlassian employees choose everyday where and how they want to work - we call it Team Anywhere. This has been key for our continued growth," the Atlassian CEO said.

"Why? This is the future of how we will work. Highly distributed, highly flexible. Yes, right now it's not perfect, but we have to experiment to get it right."

Farquhar pointed out that 42% of their new hires globally live two hours or more from an office, stressing that "great talent" is all over the world.

"There is great talent all over the world - not just within a [one-hour] radius of our offices," he said.

He followed this up with an invitation to Tesla employees to join them - as the Australian firm sets its sights to have 25,000 employees by the Financial Year '26.

Read more: Government urges return to office 'as soon as possible'

Musk responds

The Tesla CEO fired back on Farquhar's Twitter thread, saying the Atlassian CEO's remarks "illustrate why recessions serve a vital economic cleansing function."

Musk previously said that remote work for employees of the automotive company is "no longer acceptable."

"Anyone who wishes to do remote work must be in the office for a minimum of 40 hours per week or depart Tesla," he told employees in a leaked email. "This is less than we ask of factory workers."

According to Musk, exceptions may be made, and he will be the one to review and approve such requests directly.

Upon receiving comments that coming into work is an "antiquated concept," Musk simply replied: “They should pretend to work somewhere else."

Recent articles & video

'There are a number of benefits that come from doing wellbeing well'

FWC finds early notice of end to fixed-term contract amounts to dismissal

Nearly 9 in 10 Australian employers concerned about finding top talent

SafeWork NSW announces more compliance checks for psychological safety

Most Read Articles

Queensland resolves dispute on long service leave entitlements

From full-time to casual: 'Struggling' employer converts worker's role without consent

Fired for 'verbally abusing' manager? Worker cries unfair dismissal amid health issues