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HP Businesses IT News

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

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  • by Ralph Spoilsport ( 673134 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @12:09AM (#45078391) Journal
    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:RIP (Score:4, Informative)

    by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @12:25AM (#45078487)

    Please. Carly killed it over a decade ago.

  • by Mark Atwood ( 19301 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @12:36AM (#45078557) Homepage

    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.

  • by trudyscousin ( 258684 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @12:39AM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @12:40AM (#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.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @01:35AM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @01:38AM (#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.

  • But it is! (Score:5, Informative)

    by dutchwhizzman ( 817898 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @02:26AM (#45079137)
    Surely it's going to work. This is the cheapest way to get a lot of people to just resign without severance pay. Just like they suddenly decided to cancel *all* external hires in Europe about a 18 months ago, killing many profitable projects with that decision, in the end they will come up with a much leaner work force that is way more eager to keep their job than the oversized bureaucratic non-functioning organization they have had for many years. Either that, or they will go belly up. They could alternatively get their shit together and actually start managing, but that would require an effort and look bad towards shareholders because it would mean long term investments and not better quarterly results.
  • by ATMAvatar ( 648864 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @02:39AM (#45079203) Journal
    This is a well known scenario called the dead sea effect [].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @05:17AM (#45079693)

    Put the blame at Dave Packard's and Bill Hewlett's door. They were properly educated (not just "trained") engineers who could actually design electronic circuits. They finally convinced themselves that "an MBA will be able to run HP, no need for actual technology development, production or QA experience". HP is proof that "good managers can manage anything" is untrue.

    Read Dave Packard's book and draw your own conclusions. I have been for some time at this company and in the mid-90s they convinved themselves that "it is all about communications, technology skills are not that important". And then MS, Oracle, SAP and Google ate their lunch.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @06:54AM (#45080041)

    What does HP even do any more?

    The vast majority of its profits come from "Industry Standard Servers" I.e. the Proliant range. Another good chunk comes from Software (things like Arcsight for example), Storage (LeftHand, 3PAR, tape solutions), and Printing & Imaging (which contrary to Slashdot trope, is not solely comprised of selling ink).

    They also have Professional Services (ex-EDS), Cloud, networking products, big-iron stuff and various other bits & pieces.

    Also contrary to standard Slashdot group think, HP are very profitable and the stock has doubled since Meg Whitman took over, so she seems to be doing something right.

  • by happy_place ( 632005 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @09:34AM (#45081007) Homepage

    Lew Platt was Carly's predecessor, not successor. Lew split off Agilent first, then Carly came along and enacted the first ever lay-offs inthe company's history, because she was enamored with the draconian Cisco model leadership, which boasted a mandatory firing of the bottom 5-10% of the workforce every year, which was in direct and utter opposition to the HP Way (the basic concept that if you trust your engineers, give them what they need to succeed, they'll rise to your expectations and do a great job). The summer prior to the Lay Offs, Carly begged the employees to give back part of their pay to avoid lay offs, claiming it would avoid the inevitable. Then she "cut the fat" as she saw it... and then bought Compaq... then she butchered both those companies... which left all those who endured the lay off wondering why they'd donated their salaries to finance their eventual lay offs. It was a new low in leadership, that has only gotten worse with the ridiculous scandals and such that continue to plague a once decent company.

To be a kind of moral Unix, he touched the hem of Nature's shift. -- Shelley