Dell: Fully Remote Employees will No Longer be Eligible for Promotions

Dell Headquarters

Dell Technologies has announced that fully remote employees will no longer be eligible for promotions starting in May. The company told staff that in order to be considered for career advancement opportunities, remote workers must reclassify themselves as “hybrid” employees.

The new policy marks a stark pivot from Dell’s former embrace of remote work flexibility. Prior to the pandemic, as much as 65% of Dell’s workforce was already working remotely at least once a week. And in 2022, CEO Michael Dell praised work-from-home as a pathway to greater collaboration and organizational cohesion when “done right.”

Under the forthcoming rules, hybrid workers must spend at least 39 days per quarter — roughly three days per week — working on-site. Fully remote employees “will not be considered for promotion, or be able to change roles,” according to an internal Dell memo obtained by Business Insider.

Dell confirmed the policy shift to tech publication Ars Technica but did not provide additional details. In a statement, the company said “in-person connections paired with a flexible approach are critical to drive innovation and value differentiation”.

The promotion freeze for remote workers could have far-reaching impacts for some Dell employees. Business Insider reported seeing at least one promotion offer requiring the recipient to relocate to an “approved” office, potentially across state lines.

Dell’s backtrack on remote work allowances runs counter to workplace flexibility trends across the tech industry and corporate America. It remains to be seen whether the move will motivate employees to return to offices or seek opportunities elsewhere that better accommodate remote arrangements.

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