Lenovo announces return-to-office policy at NC headquarters. What it means for workers

Harry Lynch/The News & Observer

One of the Triangle’s largest tech employers will soon require its workers be back in the office at least three days a week.

Starting Oct. 31, the computer maker Lenovo will enforce a “3:2” model for its approximately 5,100 employees in the United States, including several thousand at the company’s North American headquarters in Morrisville, the company announced Monday. The policy marks a shift from the voluntary hybrid schedules Lenovo has permitted since April.

“We recognize that great things happen when people connect,” Lenovo executive vice president Kirk Skaugen said in a statement. “Since its beginnings, our global company has thrived as a hub of groundbreaking technical innovation due to its focus on cultivating employees’ skills and promoting strong cross-team collaboration, while also providing space for important team camaraderie.”

Lenovo is stopping short of mandating full-time returns like those at Triangle tech employers Bandwidth and Citrix. Some current and former employees of these two companies have expressed frustration with five-day return-to-office rules, arguing flexible schedules help companies attract more talent.

Other major local tech employers, like SAS Institute, Cisco and IBM, permit hybrid or fully remote schedules, while Fidelity Investments, which employs 7,000 people in North Carolina and thousands of tech workers in the Triangle, requires workers to come to the office only three days each month.

The company declines to share how many people it employs at any one facility or within any particular state, said Jeff Reeves, a Lenovo spokesperson.

But Reeves said the company’s “largest base of U.S. employees” work in North Carolina, while a 2019 report from Wake County Economic Development states Lenovo employed 3,000 in the county.

This story was produced with financial support from a coalition of partners led by Innovate Raleigh as part of an independent journalism fellowship program. The N&O maintains full editorial control of the work.

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