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Dell Gives Hybrid Workers ‘Red Flags’ Based on Badge Swipes

A few months after Dell cracked down on remote work by making it impossible for remote workers to get a promotion, the tech company is now monitoring how often hybrid employees swipe into its U.S. offices.

Dell will consider the frequency of employee badge swipes and assign a flag color to keep track: blue, green, yellow, or red. The flag color will help determine how hybrid employees are reviewed, rewarded, and compensated at the end of the quarter, per an internal memo obtained by Business Insider.

Dell began monitoring attendance on May 6; employees started seeing their weekly site visit data on Dell’s HR platform Workday on Monday, according to the memo.

A Dell Technologies office building in Round Rock, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

The more employees swipe in to work in person, the better the color of a corresponding flag on Workday that reflects their attendance.

Dell-brand blue flags are the highest rank and show that an employee has spent at least 39 days in the office per quarter, or about 3 days per week on average.

Green flags are “regular onsite presence,” yellow flags are “some onsite presence,” and red flags are “limited onsite presence,” in order of decreasing rank.

Related: Dell Reportedly Told Remote Employees to Come Back to the Office or Forgo the Chance to Be Promoted

Dell employees anonymously reported feeling like they were back in school.

“HR will be keeping an attendance report card on employees, grading them at four levels,” a source told The Register.

Other anonymous sources at Dell reported feeling disappointed with the tech company, once a leader in remote work.

“Dell is not the place it used to be where employees were respected and valued,” one Dell worker told BI. “There are so many people that are demoralized and will be hurt by this policy.”

Dell’s employee headcount has been decreasing since 2020 when it reached an all-time high of 165,000 employees. As of this year, Dell had about 120,000 employees, per Statista.

Related: These Are Best Cities in the World for Remote Workers, According to a New Ranking

Dell first called employees back to the office in February, writing in an internal memo that “career advancement, including applying to new roles in the company, will require a team member to reclassify as hybrid onsite.”

Employees hypothesized at the time that the policy could be a way to quietly fire people after Dell laid off thousands last year. One Dell source pulled data on the makeup of remote teams and found that the policy would “overwhelmingly” affect women.

Dell did not immediately respond to Entrepreneur‘s request for comment.

Related: Elon Musk Says Remote Work Is ‘Morally Wrong,’ Calls It ‘Messed Up’

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