IBM orders managers to return onsite or leave the company: reports

IBM spokesperson says move is consistent with flexible work approach

IBM orders managers to return onsite or leave the company: reports

IBM has ordered its managers to return onsite or exit their roles, according to reports.

In a memo reported by Bloomberg, IBM said its managers based in the United States need to come to the office or at a client location at least three days a week.

Remote employees who are living more than 50 miles away from an IBM office will only have until August to relocate, according to the Bloomberg report. Those with medical issues or military service will be granted exemptions.

To monitor compliance, IBM said it will utilise badge-in data to "assess individual human presence," which will be shared with managers and human resources.

A spokesperson from IBM confirmed the memo stating it is consistent with their approach on flexible working arrangements.

"IBM is focused on providing a work environment that balances flexibility with the face-to-face interactions that make us more productive, innovative and better able to serve our clients," the spokesperson told Bloomberg.

Impact on career progress

IBM's order comes nearly a year after CEO Arvind Krishna said they haven't been mandating employees to come back onsite.

But Krishna extended a warning to those working remotely that it can slow down their career progression.

"In the short term you probably can be equally productive, but your career does suffer," Krishna said as quoted by Bloomberg.

IBM's latest mandate comes amid recent research from Perceptyx that said the office-return push in US workplaces have slowed down.

"We've all heard stories about businesses telling their employees to show up in person or lose their jobs. But it looks like most companies aren't pushing their existing staff to come back to the office. Those numbers have stabilised," said Emily Killham, Perceptyx Senior Director, People Analytics, Research, & Insights, in a statement.

Employers, however, have been phasing out remote or hybrid work in job applications in an attempt get new hires in the office, according to the report.

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