A photo of a Twitter employee sleeping at the office has caused a stir — some say it's evidence of a toxic work culture, but many defended the practice of all-nighters

A picture of Elon Musk.
The picture showed Twitter employee Esther Crawford wrapped in a sleeping bag.Theo Wargo/Getty Images.
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  • A picture of a Twitter employee asleep in an office has made waves on social media.

  • Some said it showcased a concerning culture of people being overworked at the company.

  • But now people are pivoting to defending the "common" practice of pulling all-nighters.

A Twitter employee who shared a photo appearing to show his boss sleeping on the office floor has caused a stir on the platform.

The image, which was tweeted by Evan Jones, a product manager at Twitter Spaces, on November 2, was captioned, "When you need something from your boss at elon twitter."

It shows a woman who has been identified as Esther Crawford, a director of product management at Twitter, wearing an eye mask and lying in a sleeping bag on the floor of what appears to be an office. (Insider was unable to independently verify where or when the photo was taken and neither Jones nor Crawford responded to Insider's previous request for comment.)

The tweet received 143 quote-tweets, and was widely covered by news media outlets when Crawford re-shared it and said she has been "working round the clock" to meet deadlines.

"Doing hard things requires sacrifice (time, energy, etc). I have teammates around the world who are putting in the effort to bring something new to life so it's important to me to show up for them & keep the team unblocked," she added in a follow-up tweet.

Several media outlets have linked the image to the intense work culture at the company. CNBC previously reported that Twitter employees have been clocking more hours ever since Elon Musk became the platform's owner on October 28.

But elsewhere on Twitter, a new narrative has emerged, with some people suggesting that it's relatively common to hear of employees spending the night at work.

"I fondly remember pulling all nighters with my team in the early days. It created such strong bonds and memories. It's exhilarating to be part of something meaningful that takes every inch of you to achieve. Well done," wrote one user called Daniel Priestley, whose bio says he is the founder of an entrepreneur accelerator program. The comment received 106 likes.

"I think it's safe to say 90% of working adults have pulled all nighters at some point, so don't think there is anything special about it," wrote another commenter, receiving 75 likes.

One user, whose bio lists "Tesla, SpaceX, Elon" as areas of interest, wrote that many noteworthy achievements and events "require pulling all-nighters," adding, "Only freeloaders will complain about such nights." Another referred to the practice as "common at incubators and startups or before launching something huge."

Attitudes to workplace culture have become increasingly polarized in recent years, with younger workers turning their backs on what they believe to be a toxic culture put in place by their older peers.

Insider previously reported that Gen Z workers are more likely to advocate for a healthier work-life balance and workers' rights, as opposed to better pay.

Social media has been at the forefront of these conversations, with "Antiwork" communities — which advocate for a lifestyle free from toxic work culture — thriving on Reddit, and terms like "Quiet Quitting" and "Act Your Wage," which both refer to doing the bare minimum at work, going viral on TikTok.

Musk's purchase of Twitter was finalized on October 28, with the billionaire paying $44 billion to take the company private. The same evening, Musk ousted CEO Parag Agrawal and CFO Ned Segal, sources told Insider, and on October 31, Twitter announced that Musk had dissolved the company's board of nine directors and made himself the sole director of the entire platform.

Musk's planned changes to Twitter, including having users pay for verified checkmarks, have ignited backlash and led multiple high-profile figures to leave the platform.

Insider previously reported that an internal message was sent to Twitter staff working on changes to the company's verification process telling them that "the expectation is literally to work 24/7 to get this out." The New York Times reported that various workers had said they slept at Twitter's office on Friday and Saturday nights.

For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider's Digital Culture team here.

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