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IBM tells thousands of remote employees to come back to office or find new jobs | Ars Technica

While selling benefits of “telework” to others, IBM forces relocation in stealth layoff.

Source: IBM tells thousands of remote employees to come back to office or find new jobs | Ars Technica

Thanks to Cheri Mullins for posting this article on Facebook.

Reading this makes me angry. How is it that, first, Yahoo sets a precedence of not allowing employees to work remotely, and yet, it’s an internet service! Now, IBM, one of the oldest, largest, and most established companies in the world is now pulling the same crazy move? It’s a nasty move (I’m trying to avoid using profanity here), because there are probably a lot of really good workers who can’t find a job other than something like this in their areas.  I read the very last line of this article, and said, “Yeah, that’s me!” I’m one of those people who actually lives closer to New York City where SO many jobs are, but it’s a two-hour commute! And yes, with a family settled here and special education needs here in New Jersey, I cannot afford to move closer to New York. Even Northern New Jersey is much more expensive than where I live, and I live in a pricier area of New Jersey (Princeton Metro area).  Yet, New York City is where all the jobs are. We all can’t move to NYC or Silicon Valley, or some of the other major metropolises.

This is unfair to anyone who doesn’t live in a major city. There are LOTS of capable people who can do the job remotely, and there are lots of jobs that really can be done remotely. Need I remind people again that there’s email, telephones, instant messaging, and other connectivity programs like Skype, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Jabber…shall I go on? It’s OLD thinking that all work needs to be in an office. I hate working in an office. I get more done at home, I can concentrate better at home (cubicles and open office space are the worst), and I can connect to the world exactly the same ways globally as if I were in the office.

Major companies really, really, really need to get with the program. The future is now, and you need to learn how to work with it. Don’t go backwards.

What do you think? Include your comments below.



Danielle M. Villegas is a technical communicator who currently employed at Cox Automotive, Inc., and freelances as her own technical communications consultancy, Dair Communications. She has worked at the International Refugee Committee, MetLife, Novo Nordisk, BASF North America, Merck, and Deloitte, with a background in content strategy, web content management, social media, project management, e-learning, and client services. Danielle is best known in the technical communications world for her blog,, which has continued to flourish since it was launched during her graduate studies at NJIT in 2012. She has presented webinars and seminars for Adobe, the Society for Technical Communication (STC), the IEEE ProComm, TCUK (ISTC) and at Drexel University’s eLearning Conference. She has written articles for the STC Intercom, STC Notebook, the Content Rules blog, and The Content Wrangler as well. She is very active in the STC, as a former chapter president for the STC-Philadelphia Metro Chapter, and is currently serving on three STC Board committees. You can learn more about Danielle on LinkedIn at, on Twitter @techcommgeekmom, or through her blog. All content is the owner's opinions, and does not reflect those of her employers past or present.

One thought on “IBM tells thousands of remote employees to come back to office or find new jobs | Ars Technica

  1. I’m angry too, Danielle. Even though, unlike you, I prefer working in the office, I recognize that many people thrive when working remotely, and I respect the preponderance of research — like that cited in Gallagher’s article — proving the benefits of a remote workforce.

    I’m also sad, as an ex-IBMer. The company used to value progressive thinking and “respect for the individual” toward its employees. Not any more, not by a long shot.

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