Twitter employees who made it through last week's mass layoffs got their first email from their new boss late Wednesday—and he wasn't delivering good news. Elon Musk told employees that the "work from home forever" policy introduced in May 2020 is now history, and that, effective immediately, workers will have to come into the office for a minimum of 40 hours a week unless he personally approves an exception, Bloomberg reports. He also warned that workers should prepare for "difficult times ahead" due to economic conditions. "The road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed," Musk said. He said there was "no way to sugarcoat" the message that a slowdown will hit the company's advertising revenue hard. He said he wants to see subscriptions account for at least half of Twitter's revenue.
Musk has long been a critic of remote working, the BBC notes. Earlier this year, he tweeted that COVID "stay-at-home stuff has tricked people into thinking that you don't actually need to work hard." Twitter laid off around 50% of its employees last week, including all but one of around 20 staff in its only Africa office, CNN reports. Twitter announced in April 2021 that it was opening an office in Accra, Ghana. Employees who'd worked remotely for more than a year received layoff notices just four days after they moved into the new headquarters.
The Verge reports that Twitter's advertising revenue is likely to be affected "by Musk's chaotic management style" as well as economic conditions. After changes to the verification system, many users impersonated brands and celebrities on Wednesday. CBS News reports that while Musk remains the richest person in the world, his net worth has fallen by around $100 billion this year, with Tesla stock, which accounts for most of his wealth, falling by more than 50%. According to Forbes, Musk's net worth fell to $195.3 billion on Thursday. (He has sold almost $4 billion in Tesla stock this month, according to regulatory filings.)