No More Flexitime: HP India Asks Staff to Clock-In 5 Days a Week.

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No More Flexitime: HP India Asks Staff to Clock-In 5 Days a Week.

 news 2015-02-10 at 11:08:47 am Views: 208
  • #41951

    No More Flexitime: HP India Asks Staff to Clock-In 5 Days a Week.
    Hp will be "tracking badge swipes to the office".
    By Devina Sengupta.

    MUMBAI: HP has decided to keep a closer watch on work timings of its employees across the globe, a move that runs contrary to the increasing trend of flexible timings at workplace but one that the California-based information technology multinational company believes will help "generate a cohesive team atmosphere".

    In an email sent to employees on February 5, the company said that "everyone except for approved employees (teleworkers, etc) will be in office five days a week -no exceptions".

    The company, which has a workforce of more than 3,17,500 people globally, has informed the employees that it will be "tracking badge swipes to the office".

    The mail came after Darin Cabral's staff meeting, where the vice president-finance for HP Enterprise gave an overview of the HP executive leadership meeting that was held in Palo Alto with CEO of HP Enterprise Meg Whitman and team. Work from office was one of the topics discussed as it is a "hot topic" with Whitman, according to company executives. Although the mail was not sent by Whitman, there were many references to how seriously the global IT firm will take up this initiative.

    An HP spokesperson said in response to an email query by ET, "Over the past several years, HP has been focused on developing workplaces that at tract employees to t the office and en courage effective and collaborative work. Our invest ments in real es tate and IT infras tructure 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."
    Many experts, however, say that HP's move is not in keeping with the changing demands of the workplace. "Such blanket rules never work.They need to clean up the system and have managers who can track performance virtually. Firms like IBM and HP have provided flexibility for a long time and employees may not be happy if it is taken away now," said Nirmala Menon, founder of Interweave Consulting, a firm which works on work-life issues in the corporate world. Menon added that this will specially agitate the good workers, for whom companies accommodate flexible timings.

    When firms are letting employees choose their workplace, some companies like Yahoo and HP are going against the tide. Yahoo hit the headlines when CEO Merissa Mayer in 2013 asked all employees to report to work from June 1 instead of using their option to work from home. "Team cohesiveness" was among Mayer's reasons as well.

    The email sent to HP's employees says that while there will be some flexibility to work from home, "the general rule is that if you are not travelling for work, then you should be in office". Although those in the teleworking teams have been spared the new rules, the mail suggests their timings could change too. They have been told that their schedules will be reviewed again in the coming weeks and a decision will be taken on their flexible options.

    In May 2014, HP announced that it will axe 11,000-16,000 employees in addition to its earlier plans of 34,000 layoffs declared in 2012. The company had then stated that the layoffs would take place across all business units and locations globally and save an expected $1 billion more in annual cuts than the $3.5-$4 billion from earlier job reductions. The culling of 45,00050,000 jobs is expected to be over by the end of this fiscal, according to reports.

    In October 2014, Whitman announced the break-up of the data storage division from the hardware sales unit. While Whitman became CEO of HP Enterprise, Dion Weisler was made the head of HP, the printing and PC side of the firm.

    The tech giant has been in restructuring mode since 2008 after acquiring Electronic Data System for $13.9 billion.