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Wait, what? Dell wants more people to work from home?

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Yahoo(s yhoo) be damned. Dell(s 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.”

16 Responses to “Wait, what? Dell wants more people to work from home?”

  1. angela walters

    This is a great news. Working from home is basically working in an office but you save more time from commute and a little money from gasoline and lunch out. I have been working from home for for quite some time now and I can say that it gives me a lot more time to spend more time with myself and my family. Kudos to Dell.

  2. Dasha Golubeva

    This is a very interesting (and big) example that illustrates the expansion of remote collaboration as a powerful trend. So, we see that distributed teams become a more and more common thing for organizations of different sizes, ranging from startups where colleagues all work from home and don’t have an office per se to teams in such giants as Dell. By the way, some time ago we ran a survey on remote collaboration with 1,000+ respondents, and over 80% said they work remotely at least part of their working hours. And a very remarkable thing is that people are ready to make serious sacrifices for the sake of remote work: for example, 31% would accept a reduction in paid vacation and 25% are ready to be paid less if they’re allowed to work remotely.

  3. rannxerox

    I think this says less about Dell and more about Marissa Mayer, IMHO, a very overrated CEO whom, like Obama getting the Noble Peace metal for doing nothing, Mayer enjoys accolades from tech journalist for absolutely nothing. She might prove to be the great CEO that she has already been painted as but till then the only thing I can assume is that she is elevated due to being a (good looking) woman in the tech sector.

  4. I know a couple smart people at Dell, and they work from home a couple days a week. I don’t think they’d still be there if they were forced to work from the office each day.