IBM Software To Employees: ‘It Is Vital’ To Return To The Office

‘It is vital to our culture and our shared goals – tripling development output, building winning products, and winning new clients – that we spend more meaningful time together, in-person,’ says IBM’s software executes.


IBM’s software unit is forcing employees around the world who live within a 50-mile radius of an IBM office building to return to the office at least three days per week.

“Right now, 1 in 4 of you are working in the office three days a week. By October, we want to see that number closer to 3 in 4,” said IBM Software’s Kareem Yusuf, senior vice president of for product management and growth, and Dinesh Nirmal, senior vice president for products at IBM Software, in a blog post to employees. The Register was first to break the news.

Starting this week, all IBM Software employees living within 50 minutes of a IBM office will be required to spend at least three days in-person.

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The decision on which days employees must be in the office is left to managers and individual protect teams. CRN has reached out to IBM for comment.

‘We Must Be Better Stewards Of Getting Into The Office’

IBM executives said the new mandate to have employees back inside the office versus working from home is in a move to boost development output, drive innovation and win new customers.

“It is vital to our culture and our shared goals—tripling development output, building winning products, and winning new clients—that we spend more meaningful time together, in-person,” said IBM’s software executes.

IBM’s Yusuf and Nirmal said if the company wants to maintain the flexibility of working both remote and in the office, “[w]e must be better stewards of getting into the office.”

Employees that live more than 50 miles away from an office are exempt from the three-day-per-week mandate “at this time,” IBM said.

IBM Layoffs; AI Replacing Jobs

This year, IBM’s CEO Arvind Krishna said he plans to take the “human” out of some human resources and other back-office jobs that artificial intelligence and automation can do instead of people.

In May, Krishna said he plans to suspend or slow hiring for about 26,000 non-customer-facing back-office roles, about 10 percent of the company’s total workforce.

Krishna “could easily see” 30 percent of roles—about 7,800 jobs—replaced by AI and automation over the next five years.

In early 2023, IBM announced it would be laying off about 1.5 percent of its global workforce, nearly 4,000 people. However, he added that IBM hired about 7,000 people during the first quarter of 2023.