Dell, one of the largest technology companies in the world, has returned office space at the City Gate in Cork with enough room for hundreds of desks to the landlord.
The company, which employs around 6,000 people in Ireland at campuses in Cork, Limerick and Dublin, told staff it was returning floors one and two at the end of August in an email. A source said the floors had enough space for over 400 desks.
The email, seen by the Sunday Independent, states that floors three and four are being retained by Dell, though the City Gate office will remain closed until a return to the site is approved. It is understood the move will not result in any redundancies or layoffs, with staff continuing to work from home.
The email said the return of the floors to the landlord was part of Dell's facilities plan for the full year 2021. It adds that its Ballincollig, Co Cork, facility will be open for staff who need temporary access to a facility should they experience issues with home broadband.
One source said the decision to return the floors was made in May 2019 and was not connected to Covid-19.
Separately, Dell also introduced its "Connected Workplace 2.0" programme to staff based in Ireland last month. The programme is aimed at staff looking to work remotely.
According to correspondence, also seen by the Sunday Independent, the programme will mean enrolling staff will give up a dedicated desk in an office. Those signed up can return to the office "to collaborate as needed" and when approved to do so. Staff can enroll at any time.
Dell said Connected Workplace 2.0 "does not enable you to work from a different city/state/province/country temporarily or permanently and does not cover domestic or international moves".
The firm added it expects capacity at its sites "will be significantly reduced due to social distancing parameters"
Those who enrol receive a $400 (€340), or the local currency equivalent, stipend in their pay. The stipend is subject to tax, with one source saying it could mean receiving as little as €180 to cover the costs of working remotely.
It is understood that employees are still eligible to avail of tax breaks for working remotely from home from Revenue.
A source said some staff had been frustrated by the stipend. The source alleged Dell had told some staff it would not pay the €3.20 tax-free daily allowance, which some other firms are providing.
Sunday Indo Business