back to article IBM Consulting orders staff back to the office for at least three days a week

IBM Consulting on Tuesday issued a policy telling US employees located near IBM or client offices that they are expected to be in the office at least three days a week. The directive has not gone over well. Employees responding to the revised work rules on IBM's Fishbowl app, used for internal discussions, speculate the IT …

  1. Potemkine! Silver badge

    tacit learning for the next generation of consultants by working together with more experienced colleagues

    And you should hurry up, because we plan to fire the dinosaurs latter ones. [edited by Legal]

    == Bring us Dabbsy back! ==

    1. Alistair


      Get it right, DinoBabies.

      P.S. HR wants you to sign these documents before you close your laptop today.



  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IBM still has employees?

    They’re not laying them off fast enough!

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: IBM still has employees?

      Managers and HR also count as employees and those are nearly impossible to lay off.

  3. gv


    In this global world (see what I did there?), consulting delivery projects are staffed with teams from various locations. Usually this is also the case for the customer's team, so to go into the office to sit on Zoom or Teams meetings all day seems somewhat pointless.

  4. sabroni Silver badge

    Show us the metrics

    that back up this bullshit.

    1. Ken G Silver badge

      Re: Show us the metrics

      Wrong question - they can easily pull in stats from when 100% of the Global Services were office based and IBM were more successful and correlate the two.

      I left long ago but remember 20+ years ago when we were encouraged (to the point of IBM buying internet connections) to work from home so the offices could be sold off. Personally I think 3 days is two much, I generally try to get into an office (wherever I'm working) once a week to catch up with people and of course I'm with the client whenever the client wants me there.

      1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Show us the metrics

        Same here, I used to work from an IBM location, it had two wings, several floors, and slowly it was sold off until there was just one floor left. I changed locations, .... and slowly chunks of that building were sold off. We went to WFH and they paid for people's broadband, but that ended. So many of the nice touches withered, the IBM Club, Broadband for WFH, half day off for Xmas shopping, training, respecting the employees,..

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Show us the metrics

        IBM was also much more profitable before the internet. So they should just disconnect all their employees and they will go back to the profitability of the 60s/70s

  5. trevorde Silver badge

    Snuffing out the sparks

    Worked for a company which was acquired by IBM. I put a much requested feature into our main product. Result: disciplined because it was 'not approved by product manager'. That feature is still not in the product.

    We also did a 'hack day' to tick the corporate 'we are sooo innovative' box. There were quite a lot of good ideas, none of which ever made it into any product. The fad for 'demonstrating innovation' quickly passed and we never had another 'hack day'.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I never even met most of my line managers. Those that I did meet, it was only once or twice. The 'team' (whichever way you look at it, reporting to a line manager or whomever was managing the account at the time) was usually dispersed and rarely in the same place at the same time.

    I do admit to missing the banter (I worked with some great people on-site so it was always a pleasure and never really a chore). But now, with offices far away and customer site visits rare and infrequent, its not enough to build relationships....

  7. Binraider Silver badge

    Given that loads of IBM staffers place of work is in 3rd party offices, I'm not entirely sure what the purpose of this directive is.

    Funny, I have copies of OS/2 and PC DOS lying around from the 90's still, and have much fonder memories of the former organisation. Today it's just another Crapita.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, I left IBM in 1991. At the time I was a bit sad to be going (though I was going for good reasons). Now I'm glad I got out; it wasn't that much longer before the execs started turning it into the sorry mess it is today.

  8. Shalghar Bronze badge

    Why does everyone copy and paste ?

    As the news trickle in, every company seems keen on this 3 day a week religion. This might make sense for some companies but given the vast differences between IBM and, for example, BT i just wonder why this 3 day recipe is so universally liked by whoever makes those decisions.

    Of course, if you intend to annoy people enought that they quit "voluntarily", having a two day at the office mandate might not be as annoying as a monday, wednesday, friday mandate.

    But back on my first thought. How come so different companies all want the same mandate ? What exactly are the advantages against a company (and company part/site/work dependant) specific rule, ranging from 1 day a week to the old full week of appearance ?

  9. MrBanana Silver badge


    The IBM internal chat system is called Fishbowl?- a secure glass bowl for keeping pets in? Says it all really.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What’s “being face-to-face with clients” got to do with being in an IBM office?

    1. scusa

      Re: Eh?

      And what is to be done with the fact that 60% or more of our workforce in IBM Consulting is offshore? Surely they won't bring those jobs back thus negating the benefits of everyone being at the client office or IBM hub. #boomersgonnaboom

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ``In one message, a staffer wrote: "These bozos just cannot stop signing leases.''

    That is the essence of all the recent back-to-the-office edicts. Some C-level okayed the leasing of expensive office space and, ``Dammit, you plebes are going to sit in it or you're going to sit somewhere else as another company's employee''.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Seems like it, doesn't it? Several examples around besides this IBM instance as well.

      "Companies need to justify costly office space,"

      Sunken cost fallacy.

      "not to mention managerial salaries."

      ... and again, doubly so.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    who'd work for IBM

    I mean, it's constantly been layoffs, life insuring staff and being recorded saying "not enough of our employees are dying this year"

    even DXC aren't that bad.

    Who'd work for IBM?

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