Twitter To Close Office Buildings, Disable Employee Badge Access: Report
Twitter has been plunged into turmoil under new owner Elon Musk after dozens of employees appeared to walk off work following the billionaire businessman’s deadline and the company sent messages saying it was closing its “offices” in the next few days.
The New York Times (NYT) said in a report that after a 5:00pm deadline on Thursday that Musk gave employees to choose whether to quit or stay at Twitter, “hundreds of Twitter employees appear to have decided to walk away with three months of severance pay. Twitter also announced via email that it would close “our office buildings” and disable employee badge access until Monday.
In all of this, Musk and his advisers also held meetings with some Twitter employees who were considered “critical” and prevented them from leaving the company. The chaos also included confusing messages from Musk about the company’s remote work policy.
Musk’s team also held meetings with “unspecified employees” who are considered key to Twitter’s operations in an attempt to persuade them to stay.
“In his game, Mr. Musk said he can win and those who want to win must join him,” the NYT report said.
“In one of those meetings, some employees were called to a conference room in the San Francisco office and others came in via video conference. As the 5:00 pm deadline passed, some callers began hanging up, seemingly deciding to leave, just as Mr. Musk continued to speak,” he added.
Over the past few weeks, Musk has been firing off those who oppose him or disagree with him, often through public tweets.
He told employees that they needed to “work harder” to make the company successful and gave remaining Twitter employees about 36 hours to leave or commit to building a “Twitter 2.0 success.” Twitter’s revelations came weeks after Musk acquired the social media company for USD 44 billion last month and laid off half of Twitter’s 7,500 full-time employees, including more than 200 workers in India.
The NYT report added that “laying off so many employees at such a stressful time has raised questions about how Twitter will continue to be successful.” The report said that after Musk asked employees to decide whether to stay with the company or leave, employees were given an FAQ (frequently asked questions) about severance packages on Wednesday.
The FAQ opened by saying that Musk’s ultimatum was “legitimate company communication” and “not a phishing attempt.” “As you can see, Twitter is at the beginning of an exciting journey,” the post said.
The FAQ said employees would have to “extend office work” and “work the hours necessary to do your job at the highest level,” including early mornings, late nights and weekends, the NYT report said.
Musk also sent confusing and different messages about Twitter’s remote work policy, first saying that all Twitter employees must come to the office to work at least 40 hours a week and announcing that “Regarding remote work, all that is required is to acknowledge that your Manager is responsible for making sure that you do A commendable contribution.” The NYT report said a few minutes later, Musk “sent another email to staff telling prison managers not to lie about hard work as a cover for staff to work from home.” “Some role is important, whether it’s remote or not, you’re going to leave the company,” Musk said.