IBM, a technology giant, has been the leader in terms of allowing its employees to work from their homes and it has even bragged about the increased productivity and savings that have followed. Over 40% of its almost 400,000 workers worldwide didn’t have a regular office, IBM said in 2007, which strangely is the last time the company released such results.
Now the company has changed its tune, and many of its thousands of workers will have to familiarize themselves with the office life. A statement from the company said that in many fields like digital marketing and software development, the nature of work is evolving, and this requires brand new ways of working. IBM said it is bringing self-directed and small agile teams in these areas together.
IBM, however, declined to reveal just how many workers will have to return to their offices, or where exactly they will be located but it did say some employees will have the ability to work remotely. It is unclear just how many workers will be affected by this new move, but it’s widely believed the new policy has been put in motion at IBM’s Watson, software development, design, and digital marketing divisions.
A huge majority of employees who have been told to go back have accepted to do so said IBM. The company further added that while a number of exceptions to this policy would be made, many workers would lose their places in the company if they are not willing to work in offices.
It was not that long ago when IBM was praising the advantages of having a lot of its employees work from home. For the years between 1995 to 2008, IBM said it successfully reduced its office space by a whopping 79 million square feet. 58 million square feet of this saved space was sold for a profit of over $1.9 billion. It is however not apparent how much IBM will need to spend to get its employees situated into offices.