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HP CEO Meg Whitman To Employees: No More Telecommuting For You

Soulskill posted 1 year,23 days | from the p.s.-you're-all-slackers dept.

HP 477

McGruber writes "AllThingsD has the news that Hewlett-Packard has enacted a policy requiring most employees to work from the office and not from home. According to an undated question-and-answer document distributed to HP employees, the new policy is aimed at instigating a cultural shift that 'will help create a more connected workforce and drive greater collaboration and innovation.' The memo also said, '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.' One major complication is that numerous HP offices don't have sufficient space to accommodate all of their employees. According to sources familiar with the company's operations, as many as 80,000 employees, and possibly more, were working from home in part because the company didn't have desks for them all within its own buildings."

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Runnin' on Empty... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078335)

But I'm running behind...

Re:Runnin' on Empty... (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078433)

Yeah, if you're going to do something like this, you need to give your developers something to believe in, a reason to work for the company. Otherwise your developers will see it and find another place to work.

And honestly, it's not clear at all that HP has anything to believe in. If you say, "During this critical turnaround period, HP needs all hands on deck," you better have an actual way to turn the company around.

Re:Runnin' on Empty... (4, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078477)

yeah.. during the planning stage for the "shift".. wtf do you need people sitting in the office unsure of what they should be doing?

Re:Runnin' on Empty... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078511)

Well said.

Re:Runnin' on Empty... (1)

Jerzy Kaltenberg (2975611) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078597)

The shift....where did i see that before?

Re:Runnin' on Empty... (3, Insightful)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078691)

Ummm, how about doing what they were doing at home, except at the office?

Re:Runnin' on Empty... (5, Funny)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078777)

Feeding their dog? Walking around in their underwear? Reading Slashdot?

Don't that's going to cut it at the office. :)

Re:Runnin' on Empty... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078923)

yeah.. during the planning stage for the "shift".. wtf do you need people sitting in the office unsure of what they should be doing?

One word: Scrum. They're probably hoping that if they get enough devs stuck in an eternal round of pointless meetings (at work, and not at home where you can surf pr0n or game a little with the phone on mute), maybe something useful will come out of it from which they can then build new business.

I mean, how the hell else do you think Windows 8 got built?

Re:Runnin' on Empty... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078571)

I read that as "if you were telecommuting you were slacking". Which if I had been, would be rather offensive and a nice red flag.

Re:Runnin' on Empty... (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078779)

If that's what you tell me for putting my resources at the company's disposal, for saving them money by providing my own "office" along with my own office supplies and blur the line between work time and leisure time enough that a call at 10pm usually starts with "oh good, I see you're still logged in...", expect my 2 weeks notice in the reply.

Re:Runnin' on Empty... (5, Insightful)

bobstreo (1320787) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078831)

More importantly....

It's 2:00AM, some "very important server" has just gone down.

[Pointy Headed Management]"We have to get this server working or we'll lose millions an hour"

[Worker]" Sure, no problem, I'll drive in which should take 2 hours so I don't telecommute."

Re:Runnin' on Empty... (5, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078933)

[Worker]" Sure, no problem, I'll drive in which should take 2 hours so I don't telecommute."

I did that once (I lived 90 minutes' drive away)... it was the first and last time they ever thought a physical presence in a 'war room' to fix a gimped VM was that important to have.

Re:Runnin' on Empty... (5, Funny)

sjames (1099) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078757)

Those deck chairs aren't going to move themselves...

Re:Runnin' on Empty... (5, Insightful)

niftydude (1745144) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078827)

Yeah, if you're going to do something like this, you need to give your developers something to believe in, a reason to work for the company. Otherwise your developers will see it and find another place to work.

I wouldn't be surprised if this was exactly what they are after. Removing existing perks (such as working from home) is a good way to increase the rate of natural attrition. It is a standard management technique: basically you annoy your staff so that they find jobs elsewhere, and you don't replace them. If your company was in enough trouble that you are going to need a round of redundancies, doing this means that you save a money by not having to pay those employees out, as they are the ones that resigned.

My objection to this technique has always been that by doing this, you essentially lose the people that have skills and can get jobs, and keep the people who don't have skills and can't get jobs, weakening your company. I'd generally rather choose who to make redundant, even if it costs a bit more, and keep the people who I know are actually productive around.

But bean-counters rarely seem to have the capacity to understand that argument.

Re: Runnin' on Empty... (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078829)

The reason they need all hands on deck is to rearrange the chairs.

Re:Runnin' on Empty... (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078869)

She gets people into the office, the rest is up to them! :-)

HP? (5, Insightful)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078339)

This one was aimed at Microsoft, but HP certainly deserves it too. []

Re:HP? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078355)

I really do like vagina. Who's with me??

Re:HP? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078387)

I love sticking my throbbing, veiny, 13-inch cock in your slutty mom's asshole while your dad gives me a rimjob:

Re:HP? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078445)

Whoops, sorry a type, I meant 1.3-inch.

Re:HP? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078637)

That's a shame. You must've inherited it from your cuck dad since he is also hung like a toothpick. Your mom still lives my 13-inch cock.

Re:HP? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078799)

Well, you would know. She's _your_ daughter.

Thank You NSA (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078341)

NSA has killed telecommuting as we knew it for the foreseeable future (20 years, at least, hence).

Re:Thank You NSA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078569)

You are an idiot.

Re: Thank You NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078695)

You are mistaken. I telecommute but then again I dont do lowly IT shit for a bland company anyway

Re:Thank You NSA (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078797)

Bah, this is just a sneaky way to start lay offs. They have 80 000 without a desk, what should they do?

Monkey See.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078347)

Monkey Do!

Re:Monkey See.. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078795)

If that was the case, we'd get to call our times playing with our friends a "business meeting" and claim it's part of our working hours.

Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078353)

Marissa Mayer

Re:Thank you (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078781)

Yeah, seriously. This is about as inspired as George W Bush's announcement that NASA was going to go to Mars(without any additional funding). I believe he was quoted saying at the time: "Not because it is easy, but because it is hard!"

Does Meg Whitman really have to telegraph how completely out of ideas she is by copying the other executive with a vagina? Is Meg Whitman going to pose for Vogue next?

At this rate the woman executive fad is going to self-destruct itself back in to a glass ceiling.

Way to kill morale Meg! I'm sure your team is going to be really eager to make the next quarter successful, thereby establishing the precedent that "telecommuting is a cost-center".

Telecommuting is a superior use of limited resources. Your employees will work harder for less pay because of this perk. You can draw on undervalued talent like parents with young children because of this perk. Your employees will get more done without distractions from coworkers because of this perk. The biggest advocates for traditional "distraction-hive" work environments are always useless extroverts without the organizational skills or talent to coordinate a large team in a structured fashion.

Here's what actually happened:
Shareholders had just finished ripping Meg a new one for a disappoint quarter or W/E, so when one of her subordinates was unavailable for her to PMS at: rather than fire the employee she decided to "demonstrate leadership" by making an example.

Fuck her.

What do Carly Fiorina, Meg Whitman, Marissa Mayer have in common? Answer: I dislike them because they make poor decisions.

RIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078363)

The HP Way

October 08, 2013

Re:RIP (3, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078487)

Please. Carly killed it over a decade ago.

Re:RIP (1)

gangien (151940) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078491)

The HP way died a long time ago. Pre Fiorina at the very least.

Re:RIP (5, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078573)

The HP Way died on a dark winter's day in 1999, when Bill Hewlett experienced a failure of willpower reminiscent of the fall of Isildur, and failed to drown Carly Fiorina in his swimming pool.

Another "who can we get to quit?" policy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078367)


Erm, ok. (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078385)

CEO makes blanket policy decision, backs it up only with "Because I said so," film at 11. In other news... this is the human equivalent of marking your territory by peeing on something, then kicking up grass. Will it screw a lot of things up? Of course. Will anyone complain? Assuredly not. Is it news? No. We have a term for this kind of behavior in corporate america: Tuesday.

Re:Erm, ok. (5, Interesting)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078735)

I worked on a contract at a major telco in the U.S. that had a lot of telecommuting. They were implementing new ordering, billing, provisioning... systems. They had so many issues during that time, mostly because the left hand never knew what the right hand was doing. My impression was it was caused by people not being in the same office or campus. I worked on a similar project at another telco that didn't telecommute and things went far smoother. People were able to actually walk to someone else's desk and confer. And face to face meetings always had the result of better communicating ideas than in chat windows and even phone calls. It also helped blow walls in the silos between teams when you could go to the area where the other team sat. Or call meetings with people in the same room. Telecommuting is nice for the workers, and I too like it, but is absolute shit for creating quality work in a timely manner. Slag at this all you want, but that is my perspective from two projects implementing the same system using two different management policies: telecommuting versus 'no telecommuting'. And 'no telecommuting' produced better work.

Re:Erm, ok. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078937)

Companies as large as HP and IBM that have multiple sites worldwide that work together. There is no "same office". There are 10 people in your office building you work with, 15 more in another state and another 10 on another continent. What difference does it make a person works from home? They'll just be going into the office to talk to their team on the phone/email etc.

Re:Erm, ok. (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078947)

Telecommuting is nice for the workers, and I too like it, but is absolute shit for creating quality work in a timely manner. Slag at this all you want, but that is my perspective from two projects implementing the same system using two different management policies: telecommuting versus 'no telecommuting'. And 'no telecommuting' produced better work.

You're using personal experience to make your argument. Well, good for you. Glad it worked out in your case. However, not everyone agrees [] . I was lampooning this CEO's blanket policy decision. Blanket policies are universally bad -- there has never been one that didn't leave a trail of carnage in its wake. "Ruling a kingdom is like cooking a fish. Don't overdo it." -- Lao Tzu. Effective leadership is more about a direction than a destination. It is less about policy and more about guideline. And great leadership is so transparent you don't even notice it. Everything just seems to click. Well... things at HP aren't clicking. And this CEO is coming in and trying to prove herself with a nice big shakeup. This is what almost every CEO does. It's like when people buy a house... they invariably paint it a different color as soon as they can! The other color might have been their favorite color. It might have been the best color for the house. But it has to be changed, because until it is, for psychological reasons that person won't consider the house "theirs" until it does.

This is about painting a house. It's about marking territory. Because if it wasn't, then the CEO would be making that decision on a per-business unit basis. Some lines of work function better with it. Some don't. Investigating and then making a decision shows thoughtfulness and consideration of the complexities of the business. Shoving a policy down everyone's throats screams "I gotta paint my new house!"

Re:Erm, ok. (2)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078811)

What ticks me off to no end is that you may rest assured that nobody gets fired for that blunder. Or, rather, nobody who is actually responsible for it, because it's certain that SOMEONE has to be blamed for it. Can't be the CEO who is too stupid to figure out that it's impossible to actually pull that shit off, oh no. Someone that expensive can't be wrong, right?

Fuck, fire that idiot. Out of a cannon, preferably. It could save a lot of lives and most likely a company.

My wife worked there for 25 years (5, Informative)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078391)

and the last 7 she basically worked from home. They had a "desk" for her, but it was fairly useless and in a pen with a bunch of other desks. She never used it. Carly drove a stake through the heart of the company, and so my wife opted for "Early retirement". There was NO reason for her to be in an office - she managed multinational projects - her team was scattered all over the place and none of them were in Silicon Valley. She could have been on the moon and except for the time delay due to the speed of light, no one would have noticed.

This is just typical - they're trying to shed employees, cut staff, make money. That's what the Compaq merger was about. It had nothing to do with computers and had everything to do with Compaqs crappier HR policies which were adopted as HPs, saving the company millions, forever. My wife lost a week and a half of vacation time because of that. Dicks.

Re:My wife worked there for 25 years (4, Interesting)

MrEricSir (398214) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078543)

While Carly deserves her share of the blame for the fall of HP, let's not forget that it was her successor, Lew Platt, who split HP into two companies. Prior to that split, HP was more like Samsung and less like, say, Dell.

So this amounts to (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078563)

Putting a few more slugs in a very dead, rotting horse then beating it.

Re:My wife worked there for 25 years (4, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078803)

What does HP even do any more? I just visited their homepage to find out - it lists Laptops, Tablets, Desktops, All-In-Ones... so, reselling stuff made by companies such as Asus and Lenovo, which they increasingly no longer need an American storefront headed by an over-paid CEO to help them market.

Re:My wife worked there for 25 years (1)

dgatwood (11270) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078841)

Besides build crappy printers that (at least in my experience) have major banding problems?

Re:My wife worked there for 25 years (5, Insightful)

putaro (235078) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078855)

I thought they sold ink, or at least that's where all the profits come from.

Re:My wife worked there for 25 years (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078581)

Worked at HP as a contractor before Carly Fiorina came on board.

Initially HP treated its engineers so well that I was actually contemplating working there as permanent staff. Then Carly came on board and basically killed everything that was good about the company. At some point she asked staff to waive one day of wages, because HP was going through some difficult period; a couple of months later she gives herself a 16 million dollar bonus.

Carly should write a book: 'How to kill company wide morale and get rich in one easy lesson'.

Before the Carly, people were still working around 19:00 just to finish up bits, because they felt like they were heavily invested in the success of HP, shortly after the 'merger' with Compaq at 17:05 the whole office was empty.

Quite happy I never signed on as permanent staff.

Re:My wife worked there for 25 years (4, Informative)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078879)

That's a lesson in HR policies.

Treat your people right and you can have anything from them. Overtime, unpaid if necessary, people will even accept a pay cut, especially if temporary, to pull the company through. Treat people right and their loyalty will allow you to survive any kind of hardships.

Treat them as expendable assets and you may expect to be treated as such: An expendable job position that can be traded for another one at the drop of a hat.

Prisoner's dilemma at work. I cooperate and copy. In other words, yes, you can fool me once. But then you can expect that I'll stay with you just as long as I need to find another position, and don't expect me to go that extra mile or do anything more than the bare minimum necessary. And don't expect me to give you anything extra, not even a glass of water if you're drowning.

Re:My wife worked there for 25 years (1)

TobinLathrop (551137) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078673)

Yeah where I work it would be a big umm good luck with that cause you don't have the desk space for all of us to begin with, which is why we got pushed to telecommute in the first place and now after getting outsourced (I still do the same job just different employer on the paycheck, and hey I can actually say no not in the contract fix your own code now as well) we are now not just scattered across several sites/counties in one state but scattered across the U.S. so even if we end up with a desk 'on site' somewhere I am still not going to actually see any of my direct coworkers.

back to WHAT office??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078393)

I guess HP is in the market for real estate in Colorado

Polishing the brass on the Titanic... (5, Insightful)

Narcocide (102829) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078407)

Hey Meg,

Just a word of warning; this will not work. If they can't figure out how to communicate with IRC and all the rest of the internet at their fingertips, they're sure as fuck not gonna get along any better when you cram them in a conference room at the ass crack of dawn and shake them up to see if they fight.

The Whole Motherfucking Internet.

Copycat (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078409)

Meg is a copycat CEO.

Re:Copycat (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078499)

The difference is Marissa Mayer started by giving free lunch and new workstations for everyone.

Management Sucks (2)

gizmo2199 (458329) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078423)

So on the one hand due to executive incompetence, product quality suffers, sales go down and the stock tanks, then some CXX suggest cutting down on office space and having employees telecommute to save on overhead, then due to executive incompetence and marketing/sales trumping product design and innovation, sales go down, and the stock tanks. Now they say they need employees to come in to the (now non-existent) offices, yet something tells me that it's just another example of executive incompetence resulting in poor sales, bad products and the stock tanking.

Re:Management Sucks (5, Interesting)

rtb61 (674572) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078469)

Well as long as HP doesn't try to sell telecommuting to other companies because they obviously don't know how to do it [] .

Layoffs without calling them layoffs. (4, Insightful)

LurkerXXX (667952) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078435)

Suddenly require them to come into the office. Many won't be able to, so you can downsize without the bad publicity or cost of layoffs/severence-pay.

Re:Layoffs without calling them layoffs. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078471)

Where I've worked, remote employees are often those that can get because they're good enough to get it, and management doesn't want to dick around and possibly lose them.

Re:Layoffs without calling them layoffs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078561)

That is exactly how I would feel.

"What? I have to waste two hours of my day risking my life commuting? So I can sit alone at a desk in an office where nobody talks to me and they aren't even working on the same project as I am? My time is much too valuable for that. "

Re:Layoffs without calling them layoffs. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078605)

Which means that the good staff will leave, leaving behind the people who can't shift jobs as easily.

Re:Layoffs without calling them layoffs. (2)

cusco (717999) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078905)

Which then means that the staff will match management in competency.

Re:Layoffs without calling them layoffs. (1)

mark-t (151149) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078591)

Only if they actually quit. In some jurisdictions, severance pay is required in absence of sufficient notice, unless you have evidence of serious ethical misconduct (for example, embezzlement or something pretty serious which would usually warrant legal action).

Where I live, for example, the notice required by law is as follows: 1 week after 3 full months, 2 weeks after 1 full year, 3 weeks after three full years, and 1 additional week per each full year worked after that, to a maximum of 8 weeks, So if a person has been working at a place over 7 years (but less than 8) and is given only 2 weeks notice to find another job, they must also receive 5 weeks worth of severance pay.

Re:Layoffs without calling them layoffs. (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078715)

The whole severence thing I noted in my post...

Re:Layoffs without calling them layoffs. (1)

Splab (574204) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078825)

Woupty doo, 5 weeks of additional pay, but still no job, I can sure see how that helps anyone.

Re:Layoffs without calling them layoffs. (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078865)

ftf? you must be from europe or something... nothing like this exists in US. First, when they want to fire you, they fire you. you get called into a conf room, fired, then escorted out. There is no "notice" to give you time to look for another job. second, if you're lucky they might give you some severance, usually in the case of a structured layoff program. but if they're just firing you for whatever random reason, then you're out on your ass.

Re:Layoffs without calling them layoffs. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078901)

Depends on your laws. In my country, you can't circumvent it that easily. If telecommuting was an important ("job critical") part of the deal with you got hired, changing it means that the employer either has to accept the new contract or you have to fire him the "normal" way. Including all the relevant payments.

The HP Office (2)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078463)

From what I hear, Dunder Mifflin has some spare office space - which is already stocked with HP computers.

Re:The HP Office (4, Interesting)

real-modo (1460457) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078753)

Apropos which, I found this series of posts [] fascinating reading.


[William H. Whyte, author of The Organization Man] saw signs that in the struggle for dominance between the Sociopaths (whom he admired as the ones actually making the organization effective despite itself) and the middle-management Organization Man, the latter was winning. He was wrong, but not in the way you’d think. The Sociopaths defeated the Organization Men and turned them into The Clueless not by reforming the organization, but by creating a meta-culture of Darwinism in the economy: one based on job-hopping, mergers, acquisitions, layoffs, cataclysmic reorganizations, outsourcing, unforgiving start-up ecosystems, and brutal corporate raiding. In this terrifying meta-world of the Titans, the Organization Man became the Clueless Man. Today, any time an organization grows too brittle, bureaucratic and disconnected from reality, it is simply killed, torn apart and cannibalized, rather than reformed. The result is the modern creative-destructive life cycle of the firm [emphasis added]

Six posts in the series, each shedding much light on modern corporate dynamics. TL;DR version is "the executive class has gone feral."

Also worth reading is another post of Venkat's, "You are not an artisan".

women ceo's (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078473)

running bizz like they'd run a household, curfews and all.

Re:women ceo's (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078669)

And unlike with a wife, you don't even get to tap that snatch.

reasons (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078481)

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.

if it's so much better for the company then why the hell were you "asking" people to work from home in the first place?!

P.S. prepare to be disappointed.

Re:reasons (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078929)

I had to snicker at that "unite and inspire them to achieve higher levels of excellence" line. Not only because it's the typical management bullshit crammed into a single line, but because I can just see how "inspired" the people will "unite".

Considering that HP has by no means that amount of space necessary to accommodate the amount of people, it will be a tad bit ... well, let's say crammed. And somehow the image of how three people crammed into a cubicle try to achieve any level of operational excellence makes me snicker... though I can see how they have to be quite innovative to find a way to get ANY work done in such a setup.

And yes, I'm pretty sure it will unite them. In their hatred towards their company, at least.

False rumor? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078485)

My wife works for HP (as a telecommuter) and she's pretty high up - and I'm pretty sure this is false. There were rumors of a 'no telecommuting policy' for the last couple of months, but nothing came of it. I'm guessing Meg & Co took heed of the negative feedback on that idea.

Re:False rumor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078533)

Yeah, it looks like a wish from top management rather than an order. Top management hopes for a lot of things, they don't always get them. I'm sure they'd prefer programmers to show up in the office by 9 a.m. Doesn't mean it's going to happen.

BTW the Red Sox just eliminated the Rays.

Re:False rumor? (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078949)

You can have me at 9am at the office. Don't expect me to do any meaningful work before 12pm, though. But you may rest assured that I'll be gone by 6pm, because I don't want to fall asleep at the wheel while driving home. I tend to be kind grumpy, too, if you pull me out of bed before noon.

Top management needs to learn that there are more important things than their ego. Like productivity. I don't give a shit about my superior's ego. I don't care whether he needs that feeling that he can dictate my life. If he does, he should get someone else to be his lap dog, I'm there to get some work done, not to stroke his ego.

Standing-room only (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078513)

Even better yet, offices are standing-room only.

So they'll cram them all into the building... (2)

AmazingRuss (555076) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078527) they can 'innovate' by not being able to hear themselves think because of the 'collaborating' going on at the desks around them.

I work in a place like this. Its easy to identify the people that are actually getting shit done. They have headphones to block out all the jabbering.

Company too big... I guess (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078549)

I work for a small virtual company - 30 employees in 5 states.

The luxury of a small firm is you can be sure everyone pulls their weight.

When you have tens of thousands of employees, statistically speaking, you will have tons of "dead wood". Maybe there will be "secret" exceptions to the "no telecommute" rule, maybe not.

Whether this works out for HP or just drives the cream of the crop to smaller companies, time will tell.

Not happened, probably can't, most likely won't. (5, Informative)

Mark Atwood (19301) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078557)

I work for HP, many levels below our CEO.

This undated document has not been distributed to employees. Most of us first heard of it today in the tech press. There is no actual *room* at all the HP offices to pull in all the employees. In fact, I understand that back when HP first started pushing telecommuting, they took the opportunity to do the logical thing, and shrink and close most of their field offices.

So, short form, this news isn't news, because it's not a happened, and probably isn't.

Re:Not happened, probably can't, most likely won't (5, Funny)

Shavano (2541114) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078679)

Oh, so you still think you work for HP?

No doubt you've heard about Apple's flying saucer. (4, Informative)

trudyscousin (258684) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078579)

To be completed in a few years here in Cupertino. Almost all the real estate for it is coming from former Hewlett-Packard sites. As far as I know, the only part that isn't is Pruneridge Avenue between Wolfe and Tantau. I understand they'll be plowing that under as well.

There were two campuses. One was Ridgeview Court, which sprawled across seven or eight buildings south of Pruneridge. (I'm pretty sure these were among Tandem Computer's facilities before Compaq and then HP.) The other was a campus to the north of Pruneridge. It's all being torn down for Apple's new digs.

HP also had a facility in Mountain View too. Something's happening there now, I think, but it had been empty since roughly 2002.

All they've got now, for the most part, is a complex in Sunnyvale that used to belong to Palm, and Phillips before that, no bigger than anyone else's in the neighborhood.

I realize these are only a few sites in Silicon Valley, but the same thing probably happened in other places across the country where HP had a presence. It's a pity HP couldn't have been a bit more forward-thinking, but that died with the HP Way about the time what's-her-name finished having her way with the company.

All hands on deck! (0)

jcr (53032) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078587)

The chairs need rearranging.


It's about time... (2, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078599)

Whenever a person has asked me about working from home and what are the concerns, my response has always been the same --- the question will not be ~ how many hours are you working?~. The question should always be, ~ how do you intend to be a part of a team and commit to the appropriate level of communications to remain a part of that team?~.

Contrary to the opinion of most [clueless] managers, it is not about the slackers.

It is about communication among the team.

If you hire good employees, then you should not need to be concerned about the number of hours they are working, except to make sure they are not working too many hours.

.Lee Iacocca - "I hire people brighter than me and then I get out of their way."

Re:It's about time... (1)

Shavano (2541114) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078693)

Yeah, but this is HP we're talking about. Given their recent performance, an outside observer could be forgiven for asking if the majority of employees are working for HP at all.

OK, maybe not forgiven.

Reasonably expected (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078621)

That's what you get from appointed "managers" whithout corporate vision.
The result will be just the opposite - HP will hemmorage people moving on with no layoffs required.
The saving will be great for a short time. And renting additional office space will drive up the costs sinking the company even deeper.
It could just be a rumor. A feeler for public opinion. But if it isn't - RIP HP.

meg whitman is a fucking loser (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078645)

why do shitty CEOs still get jobs? What HP investor could possibly want that idiot in charge?

Re:meg whitman is a fucking loser (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078743)

why do shitty CEOs still get jobs?

Because there aren't enough good CEOs to go around. What, you want someone who knows how to run a business, satisfy employees and customers AND random people on the internet? Those people are rare.

What HP investor could possibly want that idiot in charge?

Well, in the case of HP, the board is equally idiotic. Seriously, do a search for some of the dumb things they've done over the last decade.

Re:meg whitman is a fucking loser (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078771)

There are plenty of good CEOs they're just not all household names.

Non-founder celebrity CEOs are almost always a horror show, if the the company is resorting that as a hail mary, well... time to sell.

Figures (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078651)

Just when I finally got rid of all my pants.

Re:Figures (4, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078723)

I wouldn't sweat it - there's a lot of Unix shops around. I assume you can grow a beard?

End Telecommuting = Jumping the Shark (1)

schwep (173358) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078671)

Subject says it all.

Contrary to ADA? (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078707)

What if you telecommute because you are disabled and it is the only way to get to work?

Stealing Mayer's bad idea (5, Interesting)

ErnoWindt (301103) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078719)

Meg Whitman - a totally hideous person - mean, small, vindictive - has no ideas of her own, so she's just stealing Marissa Mayer's bad idea. Both are insanely wealthy people who literally have no clue how the proles who work for them actually live their lives. Step by step, the US stumbles toward its own French Revolution, but ours will make the one of 1789 look like a walk in the park.

The hell! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078737)

I'm not liking this trend at all. The main thing I like about my job is full time telework. But realistically, if this trend catches on, I'm the most likely guy to be recalled to office boredom in the entire corp. :/

Bull. Shit. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078751)

"We now need to build a stronger culture of engagement and collaboration "

That's why half the damn company works in India. If they really cared about that, they would not only bring everybody into the office, but also hire people back here in the US. It's only about power, jumping on this new corporate bandwagon, and making it look like people will somehow be more productive or accountable.

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078809)

...80000 pissed off HP employees are looking for new jobs. And guess who will easily jump ship? The good ones.

Not necessarily terrible (1, Insightful)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078843)

This decision might not be as stupid as it sounds. In a lot of cases, "telecommuting" actually means "not working". It's easy enough to stay on top of one or two people who like to work from home a lot, but it's almost impossible to manage several employees remotely. Didn't Yahoo eliminate telecommuting recently, as well? I believe their decision was done, partially, because the IT guys discovered that many employees were only sending one or two emails per day (average employees sent way more) and often never logged in via VPN for multiple days in a row. Obviously, there's work that can be done without a connection to the company network, but there isn't three days worth of it each week. Far too many people think that working from home means that one should act like they're at home when, in fact, they should be acting like they're sitting in a very odd looking room down the hall from their regular office.

Also, face-to-face meetings are a good way of getting things done. Yes, conference calls and email are great, but being in the same room as everyone else can make certain meetings a lot easier. They're open to abuse, but so are conference calls and email. In fact, I find that conference calls tend to be even worse than in-person meetings because everyone has to dick around with calling into the system, figuring out who is on the line, trying to mute/unmute their phones, figuring out who is making all the noise, etc.

It's not even dumb that they announced this before they had desk space for these people. If they tried to buy the cube farms first then people would be criticizing HP for spending money on useless desk space. Also, investors might get word of new desk space and freak out over "secret plans for [something]". Obviously, HP doesn't expect everyone to stop telecommuting tomorrow. It's going to be phased in over some time.

Re: No Desk Space (1)

rnturn (11092) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078845)

``as many as 80,000 employees, and possibly more, were working from home in part because the company didn't have desks for them all within its own buildings''

Oh that's an easy problem to solve: ``HP Announces 80,000 Jobs To Be Eliminated''.

Make ink cartridges from home? Messy... (1)

2centplain (838236) | 1 year,23 days | (#45078875)

Doesn't HP make inkjet cartridges? Who would want to work from home making those things. Got to be messy work...

I've been telecommuting full time for over 7 years (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45078903)

I've been telecommuting full time at home for over 7 years. Over half of our company is full time telecomuters spread across the USA. We are very successful at it and work very hard.

It is not like people imagine it. You wake up and get to work in the home office and stay disciplined. A lot to times you put in extra hours too. You get a lot more work done because you don't have office politics. Lots of phone calls, conference, video chat, and texting. If people don't see you fully engaged, producing, you will get fired. --- It is that simple. But you don't deal with traffic, hearing people backstabbing in adjacent cubicles, and all the bullshit that you wish you could get rid of to get your work done...

Sure you can take a break now and then, but if you get into goofing around people will be quick to notice just the same in this day in age. As long as you work hard and produce major results who cares. Studies have shown time and again that telecommuting produces greater results. Just don't do half and half. -- I don't think that works really well and leads to the stigma.

Meg and Carley are totally ignorant on full time telecommuting and the huge benefits. I think they are these hardcore career obsessed women who look down at family orientated women and say "heck no to those people telecommuting"... If they could they would probably ban maternity leave or kids to work as distractions. 20% of workers telecommute. Their mentality is that people are lazy by design an they need their people to be in cubicles.

In today's day in age unlike the 90's you've got instant messaging, facetime/skype, google video/chat... Most EDA tools can be local and licensed via a VPN license server.... I've been in countless meetings where we video collaborated work in real-time seamlessly. You don't need an office anymore for many types of industries. We would do complex engineering design online all the time.

It is ironic they don't like telecommuting but they force many of their employees to full time collaborate via video chatting, email, text to all the other divisions around the world....

We are headed to a contract for hire employee world as employers try to find legal ways not to offer health benefits, or trim staff like we're JIT inventory. It just makes sense that knowledge work be telecommute. It is far more efficient, cheaper for the company, and greater results.

Since HP, Intel, etc are companies where 30% is office politics and fun and games (I happen to know personally) they would benefit significantly.

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