Employee satisfaction is important to Dell and flexibility is the third most engaging reason for working there, according to Dell’s annual employee survey.
Dell needs to support the 24/7, global, mobile work environments of its customers and respond to global trends and industry standards. As working trends have become more collaborative, each generation of employees seeks more flexible environments.
In 2009, Dell piloted its Connected Workplace (CW) initiative in the UK, whereby employees can choose to work remotely, and is subsequently rolling it out globally. Dell enabled this by:
- providing guidance on home/ office working environments;
- investing in technology that supports collaboration and remote working;
- training staff and managers on the benefits of a CW, to remove outdated perceptions and barriers previously associated with working from home;
- designing a training course to take managers through ‘do’s and don’ts’ for managing remote workforces;
- reducing the number of allocated desks, making office space available for the “hotel” desks for the remote workforce as required;
- providing new collaborative areas for group working and telephone cubicles for confidential calls; and,
- sharing information to support the CW via social media; internal blogs/ micro-blogging etc.
In the UK, 65% of employees now work remotely. Dell is proud of CW’s contribution to its People Strategy – helping to engage and motivate teams. It has also helped attract new hires by removing the traditional geographical barriers. An example is one US employee who was invited to try out for the Olympic Games, but needed to travel extensively to do so. CW allowed him to take up this chance of a lifetime, without giving up the day job.