Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

Dell Is Labeling Hybrid Employees With 'Red Flags' Based on How Often They're in the Office Dell will consider the frequency of employee badge swipes when it determines how hybrid employees are reviewed, rewarded, and compensated.

By Sherin Shibu

Key Takeaways

  • Starting this week, Dell's HR will be tracking hybrid employees' badge swipes on an internal platform.
  • The company will use the data to assign workers a flag color based on on-site presence.
  • The flag will directly affect performance reviews.

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'

Sherin Shibu

Entrepreneur Staff

News Reporter

Sherin Shibu is a business news reporter at Entrepreneur.com. She previously worked for PCMag, Business Insider, The Messenger, and ZDNET as a reporter and copyeditor. Her areas of coverage encompass tech, business, strategy, finance, and even space. She is a Columbia University graduate.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Business News

'Creators Left So Much Money on the Table': Kickstarter's CEO Reveals the Story Behind the Company's Biggest Changes in 15 Years

In an interview with Entrepreneur, Kickstarter CEO Everette Taylor explains the decision-making behind the changes, how he approaches leading Kickstarter, and his advice for future CEOs.

Business Ideas

87 Service Business Ideas to Start Today

Get started in this growing industry, with options that range from IT consulting to childcare.

Business Models

How to Become an AI-Centric Business (and Why It's Crucial for Long-Term Success)

Learn the essential steps to integrate AI at the core of your operations and stay competitive in an ever-evolving landscape.


5 Steps to Preparing an Engaging Industry Presentation

You can make a great impression and generate interest with an exciting, informative presentation. Find out my five secrets to creating an industry presentation guaranteed to wow.