May 30, 2024

Dell will reportedly start monitoring the in-office attendance of its U.S. employees who are classified as hybrid workers by tracking their badge swipes — and employees who don’t come in enough are getting a literal red flag.

The tech giant told employees that as its “next step in implementing our Hybrid Work Policy, we will track onsite presence using badge swipes for hybrid-designated team members,” according to a memo reported by Business Insider. Starting on Monday, hybrid employees were able to see their weekly site visit data on the HR platform, Workday, and this data will be used to determine if they get a blue, green, yellow, or red flag at the end of the quarter, Business Insider reported.

Blue flags are given out for “consistent on-site presence” — or at least 39 days in the office each quarter — and green flags are given out to hybrid employees with “regular onsite presence.” Meanwhile, hybrid employees with “some onsite presence” get a yellow flag, and those with “limited onsite presence” get a red flag.

The color of a hybrid employee’s flag will be taken into consideration during performance reviews, rewards, and compensation, Dell told workers. Individual managers will be responsible for monitoring their hybrid employees’ attendance. Dell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“In today’s global technology revolution, we believe in-person connections paired with a flexible approach are critical to drive innovation and value differentiation,” Dell said in a statement shared with Business Insider.

Because hybrid employee attendance is monitored by swipes, employees who forget their badge, leave for a work trip, or have approved leave will be considered absent, Business Insider reported. However, Dell said employees will not be penalized if they forget their badge and earn a red flag for it, and that reporting attendance in ranges will allow the system to account for “days that a team member has Dell-approved time off, business travel, corporate holidays, etc.,” according to an internal FAQ seen by Business Insider.

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

Other hybrid and remote employees shared their disappointment and frustration over the policy with Business Insider. Remote employees are not subject to the new tracking policy, but they are not eligible for promotions or permitted to change roles.

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