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Ouch, our web team just got decimated. Tesla's blanket return-to-office policy is reckless, cruel and threatens people's livelihoods.


Mercy... Tesla's blanket return-to-office policy left my team and me reeling from the cruel manner in which it was handled earlier this month. There's an added layer of sting due to the false promises and empty words from leadership leading up to how things shook out, which led to a handful of my colleagues being blindsided and wrongfully laid off. I'm not alone in this sentiment, as many of my colleagues feel betrayed and disappointed.

COVID 19 Factor: It's also worth noting that some folks may not be able to return to on-site work just yet — temporarily, full-time or at all — due to the pandemic and its impact on their families, yet, they're being forced to do so or risk losing their jobs (if not already laid off earlier this month).

Tesla could lose the trust, if not already, of the many people who've been working hard to make the company successful and that's a serious problem now and in the future.

With how things have transpired, I'm currently concerned about upper leadership's ability to effectively lead and support the wide variety of people, teams and locations that are crucial to its success, both on-site and remote.

This reckless policy also worries me about colleagues from marginalized communities and the adverse impact on our DEI recruitment efforts. I'm also worried about my colleagues and their families on work visas who are forced to return to work under duress, move across the country, or run the risk of being laid off if they can't make the transition.

And, gosh, not gonna lie, the misinformation being spread by upper management regarding remote work(ers) effectiveness is disturbing, but I won't get into that too much just now. However, for now, I'll just point out that the cruel way in which company leadership has acted toward people in the last few weeks has been a serious slap in the face for many colleagues (including their families), who have worked remotely and successfully for years, long before 2020.

It's hard to know what's next right now, but I know I'll do my best to help my team and colleagues weather this latest rodeo as best as I humanly can. As I've shared before and it bears repeating moreso now than ever: Take care of your people — they make it all possible.

People organizing and advocating for better conditions is a big part of what's made our work culture more positive and inclusive. This grass-roots advocacy can be tough sometimes, particularly when upper leadership doesn't always appreciate soft skills or prioritize the value of a psychologically safe work environment; case in point, the above.

In spite of this, my colleagues and I that can take the risks, will keep helping others where we can through this situation. I'll also continue to push for more transparency from upper leadership. Not sure if it'll make a difference this time around — this whole thing is bizarre to say the least! — but it's worth trying.

If you're looking for a dream team of talented and passionate people in the Design System space, let's chat. A handful of my incredible Tesla Design System colleagues are now looking for new opportunities and it'd be a win-win for everyone involved.