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Europe takes steps to protect WFH – as Musk does the opposite

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Elon Musk is causing consternation among his new employees. According to Bloomberg NewsTwitter’s new owner will cut about 3,700 jobs — about half of the company’s workforce.

Those who stay are also bracing for turmoil. Musk reportedly plans to remove the platform’s work-from-everywhere policy and mandate back to offices starting Monday.

The turnaround has rekindled calls for legal rights to work from home on both sides of the Atlantic.

Changing times

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Going to the heart of the European tech and startup scene

Musk’s suggested move would scrap a groundbreaking policy. In 2020, Twitter was one of the first tech companies to allow employees to work from home indefinitely.

TThe policy soon proved popular with staff. In an internal survey in June, nearly 70% of employees said they wanted to work from home at least three days a week.

Twitter gave them further guarantees this year. In March, the company repeated the promise to allow full-time remote work ‘forever’.

Musk, however, was an outspoken critic of the approach. In May, the world’s richest person demanded that SpaceX and Tesla employees spend at least 40 hours a week in the office.

A pro-Musk Twitter account, Whole Mars Blog, asked the entrepreneur what he would say to people who think work is an old-fashioned concept.

“They have to pretend they work elsewhere,” he replied.

Musk is far from alone in arguing for mandatory return to offices. Proponents of the switch argue that WFH has a negative impact on productivity, morale and communication. Still, steps are underway to take the decision out of your hands.

Legal rights

In Europe, many workers would not respond to Musk’s demands. a 2021 questionnaire of more than 10,000 office workers in eight European countries exposed to extreme negative feelings about ending WFH. The study discovered that most employees want mandatory work from offices illegal.

About 75% of respondents would support legislation that would make it illegal to work in an office.