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Dell Employees Disregard Return to Office Incentives

In February, Dell implemented a return-to-office policy that demanded employees work from the office at least 39 days per quarter, which equals about three days per week. Employees who chose to remain remote agreed that they were no longer eligible for promotion or hire for new company roles. According to The Street, Dell instituted a color-coded system to track employees coming into the office through badge swipes and VPN connections to confirm where they were working from. The color-coded system evaluates an employee's consistency in working from the office.

About half of Dell's employees chose to continue working full-time from home, ignoring the return to office incentives. Many employees expressed a lack of concern about opportunities for promotion. Some already hold high positions, and others note an overall lack of job promotion options within the company. Other employees enjoy the increased free time and diminished stress of working from home. Some of Dell's workers do not have an office nearby to go into, and the company gave limited options and information on where they could go. The directive indicated that the company would not give employees a choice of location. The employees reported that many teams have members spread across the country so working in the office will not enhance their collaboration. Offices remain fairly empty, and employees report that their meetings are usually video calls with Dell employees in other mostly empty offices. In the second quarter of 2024, Dell paid $364 million in severance expenses after layoffs.

Dell is not the only company experiencing challenges to get its employees back in the office. USA Today's recent survey reflects that most employees like the improved work/life balance working at home gives them.