Elon Musk and Scott Farquhar In Twitter Spat

In a reply to a Twitter follower asking for “​​additional comment to people who think coming into work is an antiquated concept”, Musk wrote: “They should pretend to work somewhere else.”

Elon Musk’s order that Tesla workers return to the office has sparked a Twitter spat with Australian billionaire Scott Farquhar after the Atlassian CEO suggested he would be happy to poach Musk’s staff for remote working positions.

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Elon Musk and Scott Farquhar In Twitter Spat

In a memo sent to staff, headlined “Remote work is no longer acceptable” [sic], the Tesla CEO wrote that “anyone who wishes to do remote work must be in the office for a minimum (and I mean *minimum*) of 40 hours a week or depart Tesla. This is less than we ask of factory workers”.

In a reply to a Twitter follower asking for “​​additional comment to people who think coming into work is an antiquated concept”, Musk wrote: “They should pretend to work somewhere else.”

By contrast, software giant Atlassian told in mid-2020 that they never needed to come back into the office. The company later reported the work-from-home option had helped attract talent in a labour market that had tightened during the pandemic due to skilled workers not being able to enter Australia on work visas.


On Thursday, Farquhar tweeted that Musk’s demand that staff return to the office for at least 40 hours a week “feels like something out of the 1950s” and allowing people to choose where and how they want to work had been a successful strategy for Atlassian.

“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,” he tweeted.

“In the past year alone, 42% of our new hires globally live 2 or more hours from an office. There is great talent all over the world – not just within a 1hr radius of our offices.”

He tweeted a link to Atlassian’s careers page, asking if any Tesla  were interested.

The thread earned the ire of Musk, who replied: “The above set of tweets illustrate why recessions serve a vital economic cleansing function.”

Farquhar did not reply to Musk or the legions of reply guys who follow the billionaire’s every tweet, but he later tweeted “hard to believe it’s been 20 years since we started Atlassian (in a recession), but we’re just getting started!”

Atlassian’s careers page now has a banner that reads: “Welcome Tesla friends, we’re Atlassian and we work from anywhere. Apply now.”

Musk is still in the process of attempting to take over Twitter, which has itself allowed to continue to work from home despite reopening the company’s offices.

Musk suggested Twitter’s San Francisco office could be turned into a “homeless shelter since no one shows up anyway”.

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