- Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
- Elon Musk’s tendency to work long hours is trickling down to employees.
- Some find the time scale on which he expects work done to be maddening.
- He asked employees to see how much of a project could get done if it was worked on 24 hours a day.
So it’s probably no surprise that his penchant for working around the clock trickles down to his employees.
Rolling Stone reporter Neil Strauss followed Musk for nine months and offered an interesting anecdote on the issue. “Most maddening or exciting for Musk’s employees, depending on which one you ask, is the time scale on which he often expects work to be done,” Strauss wrote. He continued:
“One Friday when I was visiting, a few SpaceX staff members were frantically rushing back and forth from the office to the parking lot across the street. It turns out that during a meeting, he asked them how long it would take to remove staff cars from the lot and start digging the first hole for the Boring Company tunnel. The answer: two weeks.”Musk asked why, and when he gathered the necessary information, he concluded, ‘Let’s get started today and see what’s the biggest hole we can dig between now and Sunday afternoon, running 24 hours a day.’ Within three hours, the cars were gone and there was a hole in the ground.”
The scene seems reminiscent of what a former SpaceX employee said about his time working at the company.
“I frequently did work 12+ hour days and pulled many all-nighters at the office,” former SpaceX employee Josh Boehm wrote in a post on Quora. “A phrase we threw around a lot was, ‘You are your own slave driver.'”