About this Post

Remote work has played an instrumental role in Tesla's success. Long-term, taking away team empowerment on this matter only hurts the company.

Not gonna lie, it's been a challenging summer. The team and I lost a lot of amazing colleagues earlier this summer. As shared before, they were laid off in a thoughtless and cruel manner by upper leadership, which I'm still processing and will likely write about in more depth in the future. For now, I thought I'd share a brief overview of how we've historically worked, and how the RTO policy is likely to (continue to) affect us and what's ahead.

Tesla was a remote-friendly company before the pandemic, which forced nearly all companies to embrace work-from-home. It was possible for our Web team to work from home and maintain the same level of quality and productivity as if we were in the office. This was possible because the decision to go remote was left up to each team and their immediate leadership. Again, this was the case long before the COVID pandemic.

There are so many products, features and initiatives we have successfully worked on and launched while working remotely, including a hybrid model of in-person and remote. We've been able to collaborate and communicate effectively, and we've been able to deliver on our commitments. We've been able to do this because we've been empowered to do what works best for our team and our work.

Trust has also been one of the pillars of our culture of excellence and success. The sudden Return-to-Office policy, and its implementation, is the antithesis of this foundation of trust.

Implementing a blanket policy that takes away a teams empowerment to make a decision that best fits their needs is a terrible and reckless one. Among other things, having a lack of trust and taking away remote work options as we've had before, will hurt the company's ability to:

  • Attract and retain diverse talent across the board
  • Be innovative and creative
  • Be competitive

I'm also deeply concerned about the negative impact this policy has had and will likely continue to have on the company's workplace culture and its employees, in addition to colleagues on visas and those already coming from marginalized communities.

Beyod the company mission, I'm also committed to the people I work with and their well-being. In the trenches, Tesla is still full of passionate people who are incredible. I enjoy my work and our work together.

So it's my intention to stay as long as possible. I'll continue to do my very best and leverage my privileges to support my colleagues along the way and be a voice for those who can't speak up.

I want to give a salute to a few of my colleagues who are no longer with us day in, day out; they were let go earlier this summer. The team and I would not have been able to launch the 7th major version of the Tesla Design System without their passion, craft, leadership and core contributions pre-June 15th.

For Alison, Eric, John and Maria - as well as others affected by RTO - this recent launch is in their honor: thanks friends ✊🏽

Tesla Design System (TDS)

If you're in search for a Design Systems Dream Team, please consider reaching out to these incredible folks. They're all incredible design system engineers and leaders, and I'm so grateful to have worked and learned from them.

Onward and upward.