Elon Musk Says Remote Work Is 'Morally Wrong,' Calls It 'Messed Up' In a recent interview, the tech CEO didn't hold back on his opinion of work-from-home culture.

By Madeline Garfinkle

JIM WATSON | Getty Images

If you're reading this while working remotely, Elon Musk is judging you.

In a recent interview with CNBC, the tech CEO came down hard on work-from-home culture, saying he thinks it's "morally wrong."

Musk, who told Tesla workers last year to return to the office or "depart Tesla," has long been vocal about his belief that people are more productive in person. However, on Tuesday, he said it's not only about productivity, it's also a "moral issue."

"The people who make your food that gets delivered can't work from home. But you can? Does that seem morally right?" he said in the interview. "It's messed up to assume that they have to go to work, but you don't."

Related: Malcolm Gladwell's Fears About Remote Work Are Real. It's Your Brain That's Telling You Lies — Here's Why.

Musk, also the CEO of SpaceX, said he believes people should "put 40 hours in" and that it doesn't "necessarily need to be Monday through Friday." He said he works seven days a week, and that days in a year where he does not put in "some meaningful amount of work" only add up to "about two or three."

Despite Musk's opinion, in a 2022 Cisco survey, 78% of respondents said remote and hybrid work improved their overall well-being. Still, there is an argument for one glaring problem posed by remote work beyond the CEO's argument of productivity and morality: commercial real estate.

Remote work has upended the commercial real estate industry

Across the U.S., nearly 20% of office spaces are vacant, and those numbers almost double in big cities like New York and San Francisco, where less than half of the cities' office spaces are occupied, according to property management company, Kastle Systems.

The trouble with vacant buildings isn't just the eeriness they possess or the dust they collect, but the trillions in debt they potentially foreshadow. According to Morgan Stanley, nearly $1.5 trillion in commercial real estate debt will be due by the end of 2025, and a potential surge of loan defaults could be catastrophic for an already fragile banking system plagued by three bank failures in 2023 thus far.

Related: Fully Remote Work May Be A Relic of the Past, According to a New Report

However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 72.5% of businesses said their workers rarely or never worked from home in 2022, marking a close return to the pre-pandemic number of 76.7%.

Wavy Line
Madeline Garfinkle

Entrepreneur Staff

News Writer

Madeline Garfinkle is a News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

Editor's Pick

She's Been Coding Since Age 7 and Presented Her Life-Saving App to Tim Cook Last Year. Now 17, She's on Track to Solve Even Bigger Problems.
I Helped Grow 4 Unicorns Over 10 Years That Generated $18 Billion in Online Revenues. Here's What I've Learned.
Want to Break Bad Habits and Supercharge Your Business? Use This Technique.
Don't Have Any Clients But Need Customer Testimonials? Follow These 3 Tricks To Boost Your Rep.
Why Are Some Wines More Expensive Than Others? A Top Winemaker Gives a Full-Bodied Explanation.

Related Topics


Take Your Social Media Earning Potential Sky-High With This $79.97 Quadcopter

Get this beginner-friendly drone for a great price for Father's Day.

Health & Wellness

Sleep Better, Snore Less, and Stay Cool with This Tech-Packed Pillow, Now $49.99

Let technology help you sleep better with this 8-in-1 cooling pillow.

Business News

Oscar Mayer Is Changing the Name of Its Iconic Wienermobile

The company is slamming the brakes on its wiener on wheels and rolling out a new meaty ride.

Growing a Business

Subscribers Exclusive Event: Discover How These 2 Founders Turned Their Side Hustle into a Million-Dollar Lifestyle Brand

Learn how you can transform your personal brand into a thriving business empire with co-founders of The Skinny Confidential


Working Remote? These Are the Biggest Dos and Don'ts of Video Conferencing

As more and more businesses go remote, these are ways to be more effective and efficient on conference calls.

Growing a Business

The Best Way to Run a Business Meeting

All too often, meetings run longer than they should and fail to keep attendees engaged. Here's how to run a meeting the right way.