Elon Musk's Demanding Work Policy May Have Long-Term Health Consequences

Employees caught in Elon Musk's "hardcore" work ethic could suffer in the long run, and studies show the risks far outweigh the benefits. The new Twitter chief is known for promoting quite a zealous work culture, to the point where commitment was an absolute must for workers (dubbed: Hardcore Twitter 2.0). It's not something that only came about due to Musk's tumultuous Twitter deal; it's also been a trend that can be seen in his EV company, Tesla. In a past interview with The Guardian, a former Tesla factory worker claimed they were told to continue working even when their peer had passed out from exhaustion.

Five years later, now Twitter employees seem to be facing a similar scenario. Even though Musk's latest update seems to allow for remote work (a reversal from his original edict), the framework remains muddy for how this remote work policy will actually work. From receiving emails regarding Musk's stringent requirements and expectations to being offered a work-or-leave ultimatum, employees apparently don't have many options in terms of work flexibility. This leaves workers asking themselves an important question: Will it be worth it in the end? While some might feel confident enough to work longer hours, their long-term health might suggest otherwise.

All work, no play, not okay

Adhering to a strict work lifestyle may not suit everyone, and forcing yourself to overexert at work can even be downright detrimental to long-term health. A past study showed that working long hours include serious long-term trade-offs. Workaholics have a greater tendency to spiral into depression than those who maintain a lighter workload. Although the negative effects of work addiction can apply to most types of work, it's more prevalent in high-demand jobs with little to no flexibility. 

Yes, this includes professions with high expectations and pressures –- a staple for Tesla factory workers and now, the new norm for Twitter employees. So, what's the likely outcome of this "hardcore" work culture? Aside from depression, other unintended side effects include anxiety and lack of sleep. Additionally, women who work excessive hours experience an increased risk of developing diabetes compared to those who work less hours. It is also common for women to feel intense levels of workplace stress that often go far beyond those felt by men (via Linkedin).

Another study revealed that Americans have the highest average weekly working hours compared to the British and French, per USA Today. The research suggested that the healthy work baseline for men tops at 47 hours a week, while women were recommended to limit weekly work to 34 hours. In the end, there's little long-term reward for hard work, especially when it only ends in mass layoffs -– something hundreds of Tesla workers found out the hard way. As for aspiring Twitter staff considering Musk's demanding work policy, they just have to come to terms with the possible health risks mentioned above or walk away while they can.