Yahoo be damned. Dell wants more, not fewer, of its employees to work remotely next year. In fact, it wants half its workers to work outside the office next year, up from 20 percent now, according to the Austin Business Journal, referencing comments from Dell spokeswoman Colleen Ryan.
That’s a big number for a company that employs roughly 110,000 people worldwide. And Dell’s statement flies in the face of what seemed to be a burgeoning “butt in chair” work ethic kicked off when Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer curtailed work-at-home options for Yahoo employees early this year. HP, a major Dell rival, followed Myer’s lead a few months back with a similar edict from CEO Meg Whitman. Whitman echoed Myer’s “all hands on deck” mandate.
Of course, offering flexible workplace options is a good way to retain employees — especially those that might be skittish since Dell just completed a $24 billion deal to take itself private. Such transactions often come with layoffs or other traumatic maneuvers that might cause even the best employees to run for the exits.
Reached for comment, Ryan confirmed the report. She stressed that working remotely “remains a choice and for many of us, a perk. We’re seeing great productivity and getting great feedback from team members in locations where we’ve rolled this out.”