When Elon Musk visited Twitter’s offices in the lead-up to acquiring the social media platform, he was reportedly left far from impressed by the inclusive nature of the posters plastered around the building.
Twitter’s 10-storey Art Deco headquarters in San Francisco was apparently replete with coffee bars, a yoga studio and even a games arcade. The office housed around 2,500 people before Musk swiftly fired nearly half of them and closed four of the 10 floors.
The offices in San Fran included common areas with a Montana-style wood cabin in the middle. The kitchens were filled with local herbs and art designed by San Francisco-based artists.
However, according to an interview Musk gave with Walter Isaacson for Time and an upcoming biography on the South African billionaire, it was the signs on the toilet that caused the most outrage.
“Gender diversity is welcome here” was emblazoned above the toilets and cabinets were stuffed with T-shirts reading “Stay Woke”. Staff were allowed to work from home and had a monthly “mental day of rest.”
However, in the hours and days after Musk took over, he said that he preferred a “hardcore” culture and promptly started turning meeting rooms into bedrooms to force staff to sleep at work and be more productive.
Of course, this change fell afoul of building codes in the city.
“We need to make sure the building is being used as intended,” a department spokesperson, Patrick Hannan, told the Washington Post.
“There are different building code requirements for residential buildings, including those being used for short-term stays. These codes make sure people are using spaces safely.”
In fact, the move to the “hardcore” working environment was seemingly confirmed by Esther Crawford, director of product management in a long Twitter thread.
First, she tweeted a since-deleted picture of someone sleeping in the office before then trying to backtrack and saying she loved her family and was “grateful” that “they understand that there are times where I need to go into overdrive to grind and push in order to deliver. Building new things at Twitter’s scale is very hard to do. I’m lucky to be doing this work alongside some of the best people in tech.”
She was subsequently laid off from Twitter and has been on a “sabbatical” ever since.
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