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Updated February 1st, 2024 at 08:39 IST

Come back or resign: IBM pushes for end to WFH

The company asked US-based managers to move near office locations by August 1

Business Desk
IBM
IBM | Image:X Photo
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Back to office: American multinational technology firm IBM has asked its managers based in the United States to physically report to office, or leave their roles.

Also known as Big Blue, the company is helmed by Indian-American business executive Arvind Krishna.

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As per the directive issued via an internal memo, all US managers are required to report to an office or client location at least three days a week, latest by August this year, reports suggest. 

Senior vice president John Granger on January 16 had sent the memo to employees, asking them to report back to office.

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Tony Moura, IBM Federal Garage lead outlined in a LinkedIn post that the policy comes with "limited exceptions.”

BigTech Beckons

In August, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy made a similar announcement mandating employees to return for a 3-day work week or face consequences extending to job loss.

As per the new policy, badge-in data will be used to track office attendance. The company has pushed for in-office work as individual teams have already enacted in-person policies. 

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The company joins a host of IT and BigTech companies in the US as well as India, who are encouraging more office presence four years after the pandemic first set in.

Meta in 2023 had mandated a similar attendance tracking for the three-day work-from-office policy. Interestingly, Zoom, which had made remote work feasible for many initially, called its employees back to office.

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Some Relief?

The company will provide a degree of exemptions to employees with medical issues, or in the military service. Moreover, employees who became a part of IBM through an acquisition have been exempted from this policy for two years, starting from the date of transfer of employment into the company.

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The company has also asked employees not having a consistent work location at a client site or IBM office to relocate closer to the US office location by August 1.

To encourage the incoming of employees, IBM is also likely to offer a relocation package as an option for people choosing to relocate. Google had offered a similar return incentive for its employees. 

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More details on relocation requirements are awaited, with employees getting a 30-day window to decide further. 

CEO Arvind Krishna had earlier said that remote workers might face challenges in receiving promotions, highlighting the importance of on-site work for the company.

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But the company is known to have cut real estate investments, closing offices in Philadelphia, central New York State and Iowa.

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Published January 31st, 2024 at 16:24 IST

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