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HP Asks Remote Employees to Work at the Office

HP logoFollowing in Yahoo's footsteps, HP is next major company to ask employees who work from home to come into the office. Part of CEO Meg Whitman's turnaround plan for the company, employees are being asked to make a case for working remotely.

In a Q&A document, the company explains the rationale for the change, which is similar to Yahoo's, focusing on collaboration and innovation:

My Workplace, My HP Community. What is the goal of the effort?

As part of the company’s overall turnaround strategy, there is an effort underway to bring employees who currently work from home to work from the office. This effort is part of the company’s cultural shift and will help create a more connected workforce and drive greater collaboration and innovation. In some major sites thereto large amount of underutilized workspace and we want to make the best use of our space. HP will maintain flexible work arrangement options, but with greater clarity and consistency about how to use them.

Why now?

During this critical turnaround period, HP needs all hands on deck. We recognize that in the past, we may have asked certain employees to work from home for various reasons. We now need to build a stronger culture of engagement and collaboration and the more employees we get into the office the better company we will be. Belief in the power of our people is a core principle of the HP Way Now. Employees are at the center of what we do, we achieve competitive advantages through our people. HP has amazing employees who are driving great change. We believe the more employees we have working together, the better for HP and our customers.

How does this support the company strategy end culture?

We want to make HP a great place to work and build a stronger HP Way Now culture of engagement and collaboration. Employees who are more connected tend to be more collaborative, productive, and knowledgeable They will also have a greater sense of the company goals and experience a greater sense of pride in HP. We believe that having employees work from the office will unite and inspire them to achieve higher levels of operational excellence and innovation.

Which employees are affected?

The overall effort is designed to increase collaboration among all employees, including employees who regularly work from home despite having an assigned desk at a site, telework employees who are near HP sites, and those who regularly work in an office now. Employees with part-time or job share arrangements are expected to work from the office. Where legally permissible, contingent workers also are expected to work from the office.

 An HP spokesperson gave this statement to AllThingsD:

"Over the past several years, HP has been focused on developing workplaces that attract employees to the office and encourage effective and collaborative work. Our investments in real estate and IT infrastructure have made it possible to now accommodate more employees in the office and also support new styles of working which we believe will further HP’s business strategies and objectives. Flexibility continues to be a core operating principle at HP."

Discussion Starters:

  • Compare Yahoo's email to employees to HP's Q&A. What similarities and differences do you notice, and what could account for them?
  • Which message is more effective and why?
  • List all of the possible questions and concerns that employees would have about the change. If you were part of HP management, how would you address them?