Dell becomes the latest company to reverse WFH policies

Dude! You're not getting a Dell...promotion!

MajorLinux - Editor-in-chief

Many studies have been done to prove that working from home benefits companies more than it hurts. University of Pittsburgh conducted one were researchers found businesses that forced employees back into the office hurt morale and gained no financial benefit. So, why do companies like Dell continue to push people back into the office?

No office? No promotion!

Now, in Dell’s case, it isn’t really forcing people back into the office. It is, however, tying promotions to a return-to-office policy. According to Business Insider, employees who choose to be fully remote will be stuck in their position until they decide to come back.

For remote team members, it is important to understand the trade-offs: Career advancement, including applying to new roles in the company, will require a team member to reclassify as hybrid onsite.”

Dell memo to workers (acquired by Business Insider)

When reached for comment by Ars Technica, the following statement was sent:

In today’s global technology revolution, we believe in-person connections paired with a flexible approach are critical to drive innovation and value differentiation.”

Dell spokesperson to Ars Technica

Business Insider saw an offer extended to a remote worker for a promotion. In order to receive the promotion, they would have to come into an “approved” office. The closes one for the employee was out of state.

This move seems to be in stark contrast to how Dell operated in the past. According to Dell CEO Michael Dell, over 10 years ago, 65 percent of Dell’s employees were working remotely at least one day per week. Some employees who spoke to Business Insider said they had been remote for over 10 years.

Speaking of Michael Dell, he was a huge proponent of working from home. He wrote an LinkedIn blog post about it in September 2022.

At Dell, we found no meaningful differences for team members working remotely or office-based even before the pandemic forced everyone home. And when we asked our team members again this year, 90 percent of them said everyone has the opportunity to develop and learn new skills in our organization. The perception of unequal opportunity is just one of the myths of hybrid work …”

Dell CEO Michael Dell

As I said before, this isn’t technically a return-to-work policy. But it is akin to something like a mercy killing. Where companies would fire people for not coming back, Dell opts to let the remote workers take themselves out.

We’re being forced into a position where either we’re going to be staying as the low man on the totem pole, first on the chopping block when it comes to workforce reduction, or we can be hybrid and go in multiple days a week, which really affects a lot of us.”

Anonymous employee speaking to Business Insider

This move is on top of Dell’s February 2023 layoffs which saw 6,650 employees (about 5 percent) lose their jobs.

Show me you’re firing someone without showing me you’re firing them.

Source: Ars Technica

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By MajorLinux Editor-in-chief
Marcus Summers is a Linux system administrator by trade. He has been working with Linux for nearly 15 years and has become a fan of open source ideals. He self identifies as a socialist and believes that the world's information should be free for all.
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