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IBM To Dismantle Remote Working, Signaling A Workplace Shift

IBM office building in Amsterdam

Once the pioneer of remote working, IBM is requiring thousands of remote workers to either relocate to a regional company office or find another job.

IBM has suffered from 20 consecutive quarters of declining revenue and executives are targeting the company’s long established remote work program in a bid to increase work production and collaboration.

The shift comes as a surprise, considering IBM has been one of the strongest advocates for remote work, publishing many supportive studies of the practice over the years, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The company said the decision has nothing to do with cutting costs, and is about fostering collaboration. IBM’s decision to scale back on remote working could signal a shift in how companies treat the practice generally. Yahoo, Bank of America and Aetna have also taken steps to reduce telecommuting and get employees back in the office.

Last month the computer giant signed a deal with WeWork to lease an entire 70K SF Manhattan building. In the first deal of its kind, WeWork will manage the building on behalf of IBM.