Data center News
Michael Dell Chides Return-To-Office CEOs: ‘You’re Doing It Wrong’
‘If you are counting on forced hours spent in a traditional office to create collaboration and provide a feeling of belonging within your organization, you’re doing it wrong,’ Dell says of his fellow tech CEOs mandating office hours.
Remote workers, you have a friend in Michael Dell.
While other tech CEOs are hauling keyboard commandos back to headquarters, the Dell Technologies leader said doing so won’t solve the teamwork or culture-building challenges that some say plague the remote-work environment.
“Even several of my fellow tech industry CEOs have pushed to get their teams back into physical offices ‘to engage more fully’ or be a more visible presence,” Dell said in a LinkedIn post on Wednesday. “If you are counting on forced hours spent in a traditional office to create collaboration and provide a feeling of belonging within your organization, you’re doing it wrong.”
AT&T last month said in a statement that “[w]e do our best work when we work together” as it commanded workers back to the office, a move the company’s union members have protested. Apple workers circulated a petition in Cupertino that demanded “location flexible” work be allowed to continue. And Datto recently ordered its workers to return to the office sooner than expected when the company was purchased by Kaseya. That company’s CEO Fred Voccola told employees during a town hall that the data says they are more productive in the office.
Dell said he isn’t making these decisions based on his own feelings, but rather it was “grounded in our culture and based on the facts of our internal data.”
“Ultimately, we have committed to allow team members around the globe to choose the work style that best fits their lifestyle – whether that is remote or in an office or a blend of the two,” Dell said. “Our business results show it’s working for us, and I believe this model will eventually be embraced as the future of work.”
Last year, Dell called up a massive, global technology survey looking at the future of work. The company hired the U.K. firm, Vanson Bourne, to carryout the study interviewing 10,500 “senior business and IT business leaders as well as knowledge workers, from small to large enterprises and across 14 industries, were interviewed across 40 locations.”
The survey — which was peer reviewed — stated that 80 percent of workers feel remote work will create a more inclusive work environment, while providing employees more time to work, achieve financial independence, care for loved ones, or pursue other interests.
However, Dell said the study also showed 58-percent of the respondents do not yet have a better worklife balance, while 41- perecent believe their co-workers are suffering from burnout that is hurting productivity.
“(I)t doesn’t mean that forcing everyone to return to an office is the answer,” Dell wrote. “Rather it highlights the importance of culture and the responsibility of leaders to create the right one for their organizations. Leveraging technology and internal insights for frequent touch points with teams is more vital than ever.”