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IBM Employees To Begin Returning To U.S. Offices In September

‘There are benefits to being in the office, there are benefits to not being in the office,’ Mark Wyllie, CEO of Boca Raton, Fla.-based IBM partner Flagship Solutions Group, told CRN. Video-conferencing ‘is not as good as communicating face to face, but sometimes you need other options.’

IBM has informed employees in the U.S. that they can return to physical offices the week of Sept. 7, according to an internal memo reviewed by CRN, joining in with other large-sized companies including Microsoft and Google that are moving away from fully remote workforces established during the pandemic.

[RELATED: Michael Dell: ‘Yes, Remote Working Is Absolutely Here To Stay’]

IBM is working on rules for fully vaccinated employees to work onsite without masks and rules for employees who want to travel for business and meet clients outside of IBM.

“If you haven’t yet been vaccinated or received the second dose of a two-shot vaccine, we strongly encourage you to get fully vaccinated now,” according to the memo, authored by IBM Chief Human Resources Officer Nickle LaMoreaux.

The IBM memo didn’t specify rules around whether U.S. employees can keep working remotely some or all of the time.

“IBM has long-established practices and policies supporting work life balance which will continue as we return to the office,” LaMoreaux said. “More communication from your unit leadership, as well as specifics on safety protocols, will follow later this summer.”

Mark Wyllie, CEO of Boca Raton, Fla.-based IBM partner Flagship Solutions Group, told CRN that a hybrid approach to in-office and at-home work will be the norm. About 90 percent of his staff —about 40 employees — are remote.

“There are benefits to being in the office, there are benefits to not being in the office,” Wyllie said. Video-conferencing “is not as good as communicating face to face, but sometimes you need other options.”

The news follows other vendors’ decisions to reopen physical offices as more Americans become vaccinated against COVID-19.

Microsoft opened its headquarters and nearby campuses to more workers in March. Salesforce previously announced that it will reopen its San Francisco office in May. Google said it expects its future lies in a hybrid work model under which some 60 percent of Googlers will spend a few days per week in the office.

 

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