IBM Issues Ultimatum to Managers: Return to Office or Depart

By Consultants Review Team Tuesday, 30 January 2024

IBM has delivered a companywide directive to managers working remotely, stating that they must either relocate near an office or face separation from the company. The ultimatum, conveyed in a memo by Senior Vice President John Granger, mandates that all US managers must report to an office or client location at least three days a week, regardless of their current work location status. Badge-in data will be employed to assess individual presence, with results shared with managers and human resources.

According to the memo, managers working remotely must relocate within 50 miles (80 kilometers) of an IBM office by the beginning of August. Those unwilling or unable to relocate and secure an approved remote role will be required to leave the company. Granger emphasized IBM's commitment to a work environment that balances flexibility with in-person interactions to enhance productivity, innovation, and client service.

IBM's CEO, Arvind Krishna, has previously emphasized the significance of in-person work, stating that promotions will be less frequent for those not on-site. In November, IBM instructed employees in the infrastructure business unit to be present at company locations at least three days a week, with managers and executives expected to have a more frequent in-office presence.

In recent years, IBM has streamlined its operations, focusing on software and services. The company has also shuttered several offices since the onset of the pandemic, including facilities in Philadelphia, central New York State, Southbury, Connecticut, and Iowa. This move by IBM reflects a broader trend among companies reevaluating remote work policies and emphasizing the value of in-person collaboration for certain roles.

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