Renowned entrepreneur and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, recently expressed his strong opinions on the so-called “laptop class” during a candid interview. In the interview with CNBC’s [Name redacted], Musk questioned the moral integrity of individuals who choose to work from home while expecting essential workers to continue their on-site duties.
Musk began by emphasizing his belief in the productivity benefits of working in a physical workspace, stating, “I’m a big believer that people are more productive when they’re in person.” He raised concerns about the inconsistency in expecting certain professions to operate on-site, such as factory workers, food service providers, repair professionals, and construction workers, while simultaneously advocating for remote work in the “laptop class.”
The outspoken CEO argued that it was unfair for those in the “laptop class” to enjoy the privilege of working from the comfort of their homes while essential workers were still required to report to physical locations. Musk labeled this discrepancy as both a productivity issue and a moral issue, suggesting that it was morally wrong to demand others to work on-site while choosing to work remotely.
Musk’s criticism seemed to be directed at a particular segment of the workforce that predominantly relies on laptops and digital tools to perform their tasks. He referred to them as living in a world detached from the reality faced by individuals involved in physically demanding or on-site roles.
As the discussion unfolded, Musk questioned the validity of the moral high ground claimed by those in the “laptop class,” challenging their perception of themselves as more virtuous or ethical due to their ability to work remotely. He argued that the assumption that they could work from home while expecting others to continue their on-site responsibilities was fundamentally flawed and unjust.
“The laptop class is living in la la land, okay,” he added. “But as I said, the — you can’t, but look at the cars, are people working from home here? Of course not. So people were building cars, servicing the cars, building houses, fixing houses, making the food, making all the things that people consume. It’s messed up to assume that yes, they have to go to work, but you don’t. How is that — that is, it’s not just a productivity thing. I think it’s morally wrong.”
“The laptop class is living in la-la land.” Elon Musk thinks remote work is “morally wrong”. (Video: CNBC) pic.twitter.com/pftjd4HHTZ
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) May 17, 2023
Musk’s candid remarks have sparked conversations and debates regarding the ethics and productivity of remote work. The issue highlights the need for a balanced approach that takes into account the unique circumstances of each profession and the potential benefits and drawbacks associated with remote work.