IBM Tells Thousands of Work at Home Employees to Suit Up and Get Back to the Office

For thousands of IBM employees, the ability to work from home is a key advantage of their job. But the company said Friday that it’s ending that benefit for many of them.

The technology giant has been a leader in terms of letting employees work from home, and has bragged about the savings and increased productivity that’s resulted. About 40% of its nearly 400,000 employees worldwide did not have a traditional office, the company said in 2007, which the last time it released such data.

But now the company is changing its policy, and many of its employees will have to reacquaint themselves with office life.

“In many fields, such as software development and digital marketing, the nature of work is changing, which requires new ways of working,” said a statement from the company. “We are bringing small, self-directed agile teams in these fields together.” The policy change was reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.

IBM declined to say how many employees will have to return to the office, or where they will be located. It did say some will still be able to work remotely.

The vast majority of workers who have been asked to return the office have agreed to do so, IBM said. The company added that while some exceptions to the policy will be made, some employees will lose their jobs if they’re unwilling to work in offices.

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Source: CNN | Chris Isidore