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IBM Calls Workers Back to the Office

Working remotely is a luxury many employees seek but few are granted. In this day and age, where the internet is accessible virtually anywhere, there’s really no reason for many employees to be in the office. Allowing employees to work remotely is a decision many companies make because it saves both money and office space.

For many years, IBM allowed their employees to work from home. Now, they are rolling back this decision and requiring their workers to make a choice: come back into the office or quit.

The decision comes out of a desire on IBM’s part to create a more collaborative environment and speed up the pace of work. With 20 consecutive quarters of decreased revenue, it is no doubt that IBM is making this call to weed out employees who are either unable to relocate near an office or don’t want to.

The Wall Street Journal notes that this could affect thousands of employees company wide, though an IBM spokesperson stated that the “vast majority” of remote workers have chosen to come back into the office.

IBM has formerly been a company that touted the positive side effects of working remotely and bragged that over 40 percent of their workforce worked from home or in non-traditional offices. But they aren’t the only ones calling employees back to the office. Yahoo made the same call in 2013, and companies like Bank of America and Aetna are considering doing the same.

Employees in certain divisions at IBM have been given 30 days to decide whether they are able to relocate to one of IBM’s many offices. They have also made offers to help employees pay for the cost of relocation and provide a cost of living adjustment to their salaries. If they choose to leave, employees have 90 days in which to apply for another role within the company should they want to.

This decision has created some unrest and concern amongst employees, leaving many wondering if this is a prelude to a massive layoff. Whether or not this is true remains to be seen.

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