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The reason why Elon Musk makes employees meet at 1am on Sunday morning

Elon Musk is known as the “workaholic” CEO.

According to Ars Technica, Musk once suddenly asked all employees working at SpaceX’s factory at an emergency meeting at 1am.

Elon Musk, who runs electric car company Tesla and space technology company SpaceX, which is famous for always setting unbelievable goals. At dawn on a Sunday in February 2020, the CEO of SpaceX held this strange meeting because he wanted to know why the factory did not work 24/7 to produce the Starship rocket system.

The team later explained that they needed more people to rotate shifts. Within two days, SpaceX employed 252 workers, doubling the number of people at the factory, Ars Technica said.

Elon Musk cuong cong viec anh 1

This is the reality of working for Musk.

Pressure creates success

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell joined the rocket company in 2002 as the 7th employee. 15 years later, when asked, she still said she enjoyed working for Musk. However, the female president admits this job is very harsh.

“It is easy to see that Elon Musk’s schedule is very stressful. But thanks to that, our employees get the job done faster and more efficiently,” Shotwell shared during a TED conference in 2018.

“I think that if you just pour a lot of time and money, it is not sure that there will be any great results. Therefore, putting pressure on employees is really important,” the talented female engineer explained.

She also said she had to learn to listen and think before dismissing any of Musk’s “unruly” requests.

“Every time Musk says something, we need to pause for a moment so we don’t blurt out, ‘Wow, this idea doesn’t work at all’ or ‘There’s no way we can do this’.” What a Musk subordinate should do now is shut up, think and find a way to do it, Shotwell advises.

Elon Musk cuong cong viec anh 2

Max Hodak, CEO of Neuralink, the neuroscientific technology company founded by Elon Musk, goes through the same thing.

“Elon Musk is an optimist. He will break through all limits and open up new possibilities and they have all become reality,” Hodak said in 2019 at the US National Academy of Sciences.

In a talent recruitment post on Twitter, Elon Musk also frankly said that working with him would be very stressful.

“There’s nothing out there that’s easier to work in. But working 40 hours a week is not enough to change the world. But once you like what you do, work becomes more than just work,” the CEO shared on his personal page.

“Make an example” of your own timetable

Elon Musk also revealed his hectic work schedule to the New York Times. He admits he works 120 hours a week and hasn’t had a week off since the 2001 malaria outbreak.

“There was a time when I didn’t even leave the factory for three or four days,” Musk said, which has kept him from seeing friends and children.

Elon Musk cuong cong viec anh 3

On the other hand, because of the lack of time to rest, the billionaire’s work productivity has decreased. After that, he had to “cut” his time at work to 80-90 hours/week and felt “balanced and sustainable” with these hours. “You’d go crazy if you worked 120 hours a week,” Musk told Recode.

As a “workaholic”, Musk also sets unbelievable demands on his subordinates. According to Bloomberg, some Tesla employees work so much that their gait faltering and their gaze adrift like zombies. Energy drinks are provided for free by the company so that workers are not exhausted after 12-16 hours of continuous work.

Reuters also reported that employees at Tesla had to endure a stressful working environment for many hours to meet the Tesla Model 3 production target by the end of June 2018. Many people even have to work overtime on weekends.


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