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Red Hat’s Dudeck: Workers Can Stay Home Indefinitely

Wade Tyler Millward

‘With COVID-19 still a concern for associates caring for immunocompromised loved ones, no Red Hatter is required to be in an office if they do not wish to return,’ Red Hat Chief People Officer Jennifer Dudeck said in an online post.

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Red Hat employees are free to come into the office whenever they want, including never, Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer Jennifer Dudeck said in an online post Monday.

More than 30 percent of Red Hat employees worked remotely before the pandemic – Dudeck herself worked from home for more than a decade before joining the Raleigh, N.C.-based open source technologies vendor – and the company will keep its flexible policy, she said in the post.

“With COVID-19 still a concern for associates caring for immunocompromised loved ones, no Red Hatter is required to be in an office if they do not wish to return,” she said in the post. “While some of our tech peers are pulling employees back to the office, we don‘t think our workforce needs to be in an office to be successful – we’ve seen the value in providing flexibility.”

[RELATED: Red Hat CEO Matt Hicks: Partners Key To $1 Trillion Open Hybrid Cloud Market] 

CRN has reached out to Red Hat for comment.

What Is Red Hat’s Remote Work Policy?

Red Hat’s parent organization, Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM – and other tech vendors – appear to be requiring some employees to come into the office.

In a talk at The Aspen Ideas Festival in June, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said that roles requiring decision making and creativity will likely require face-to-face collaboration whereas “deep work” employees can continue to work alone remotely.

“I think it’s going to be 60 to 70 percent come in anywhere from two to three days a week. Thirty percent probably are not going to come in at all. But even that first 60, 70 (percent) are probably not in five days a week. They’re in three.”

CRN has reached out to IBM for comment.

He said that IBM’s United Kingdom workforce was “pretty much” coming into the office about three days a week. The U.S. workforce was at 20 percent in office three days a week or more, and that under the “new normal,” that number will never cross 60 percent.

Meanwhile, Amazon team directors are setting policies for how many days reports should come into the office, according to Fortune. Apple started requiring work from the office three times a week this month. And Google has a hybrid model with an option for employees to request work-from-home extensions.

Red Hat’s Dudeck wrote in her post that her company’s policy gives workers flexibility and builds trust.

“The benefits of expanding flexibility also don’t just accrue to associates – our approach allows us to unlock a wider talent pool and create a lasting employer-value proposition,” she said. “Not being limited by location when hiring provides a much broader opportunity to attract and retain great associates, especially when it comes to diverse talent.”

Red Hat added a stipend for employee expenses related to work-from-home, quarterly days-off to prevent burnout and an Open Decision Hub for employees to voice opinions and review company decision-making and

For workers who do come to the office, they book their work stations online and gather to work with teams in “neighborhoods,” which have booths, couches and fewer desks, an expansion of a pre-pandemic policy, she said. Red Hat has also invested in collaboration tools so almost any room can allow connection with colleagues and customers around the world.

Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at wmillward@thechannelcompany.com.

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