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Tesla’s chief designer has a side hustle: Leading coworkers through workouts in the company’s parking lot

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Tesla chief designer Franz von Holzhausen plays a starring role in the company’s workplace wellness offerings.

Von Holzhausen, who works closely with CEO Elon Musk, has started hosting what some call “FranzFit” training sessions, according to a profile by The Wall Street Journal

A team of about 300 Tesla staffers, including von Holzhausen, work out of a design studio in Los Angeles next to SpaceX headquarters. A few years ago, a CrossFit trainer began offering lunchtime exercise classes. Now von Holzhausen, who designed Tesla’s Cybertruck, often leads workouts himself—in the company’s parking lot, no less.

People who work closely with von Holzhausen described the 55-year-old as “decisive, hard to fluster and open to new ideas, qualities that have helped him form a close bond with Musk and thrive at a company known for high executive churn,” wrote Rebecca Elliott in WSJ.

“I don’t like to lose. Maybe it’s a good outlet for that,” von Holzhausen said referencing the workouts. 

The Tesla exec is part of a line of tech leaders who are sharing their wellness habits with employees to help create a healthier—and more productive—office culture.

Workplace consulting firm Gallop suggests that when an employee’s well-being suffers, so does the company’s bottom line, and when employee well-being is a priority, there are lower rates of burnout and higher performance standards.

It’s why Will Ahmed, the founder and CEO of WHOOP and former captain of the Harvard squash team, prioritizes sleep for both himself and his employees. Because of this, WHOOP offers a sleep bonus of $100 per month to every employee who averages 85% of their personal sleep need.

“By incentivizing sleep, we are helping our team stay healthy and optimize their focus” Ahmed previously told Fortune.

Eight Sleep CEO and cofounder Matteo Franceschetti also is an advocate for sleep, so all employees receive the Eight Sleep Pod for free, “as a way for us to invest in their well-being through sleep fitness,” he previously told Fortune.

“We don’t shy away from asking each other how we sleep and making sure we are all prioritizing this recovery time so that we can bring our best game to the working hours.”

Bobbie Lloyd, CEO of Magnolia Bakery—or, self-proclaimed “chief baking officer”—treks an hour to work almost every day by foot. She says her nearly three mile walk is a crucial ingredient in her own recipe for success, which helps her lead and support her team.

“I always take care of my health,” she previously told Fortune. “Whether it’s walking, running, yoga, mental health, meditating, stretching, I’ve done it my entire life.”

Lloyd’s morning routine paves the way for her 12-hour workday. “It’s a long day, but I love what I do.”



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