IBM Australia has told its people they need to do less remote work and spend more time in the office or on client sites.
In a memo to staff seen by iTnews, senior HR and Finance execs said “Culture Vision Sprints” have produced a consensus that the company needs “increased teaming and physical and emotional connections.”
“We want you to be physically present with our clients and with each other, and we talked about
how we can achieve this in a respectful manner that has purpose,” the memo states.
“We achieve our best results When we operate as an integrated set of teams, aligned with each other and working to meet The demands of the marketplace and of our clients.”
“Many of our teams are already working together in this way,” the memo continues, before adding “but for some it will mean having to adjust working patterns to come Together with their teams at IBM locations.”
(If you are confused by the placement of Big Blue’s capitalisation, so are we.)
This means staff will be required to physically be in office or on site for at least three days a week, iTnews understands.
For some staff that will mean significant lifestyle changes and potentially an increase in commute costs.
Compounding the situation is the imminent closure of the company’s Cumberland Forest site, which thanks to its location in Sydney’s north-west is attractive to workers in the area.
IBM’s other Sydney offices are much closer to the CBD and therefore far less suitable for commuting by car.
The memo says IBM still feels flexibility is a core value.
But staff are also told that their managers will soon be in touch to “discuss and agree what this looks like for you as an individual, for our teams and for our clients.”
Ironically, IBM is telling its Australian staff to come to the office more often at a time when many are being asked to work in virtual teams that span different nations.
The changes, iTnews understands, are therefore aimed at ensuring that IBM physically fronts clients more often, even as local numbers fall.
And of course no HR is complete without an obligatory codename and hashtag.
The recalibrated work policy is part of a collaboration strategy called “#anewIBM”.