TECH CULTURE

Do other Central Texas employers encourage their staff to work from home?

Posted June 23rd, 2016

Short answer: not to the extent that Dell does. 

We contacted several major Central Texas employers to find out if they emphasized working from home as much as Dell, which has a goal of having 50 percent of its workforce working remotely by 2020. 

Many companies, such as Whole Foods Market, NXP Semiconductors and National Instruments, either never got back to me or said they couldn't meet my deadline. 

That tells me it's probably not a vital part of their culture. That's understandable, especially as many tech companies in town have invested huge sums of money in cool-ifying their offices, or building large suburban campuses with cafeterias so that people want to come to work. 

Three companies did get back to me about their policies and here is what they said:

ACCENTURE

Accenture, a software company that employs 2,100 in Austin, said they "embrace" work flexibility and support flexible work arrangements when possible. 

"The majority of our people have used one or more of our available flexible work arrangements during the past year, some on a regular basis, siad Joe Dickie, a spokesman for Accenture. 

Dickie said telecommuting is offered as part of a broader approach to flexible work arrangements that includes part-time, flextime and modified or compressed work weeks. 

HOMEAWAY

HomeAway, which employs more than 1,000 in Austin and is owned by Expedia, said they have four offices in the Austin area and try to place employees closer to to their homes. 

Spokeswoman Melanie Fish said HomeAway certainly has employees that work purely from homes in states such as Florida, Ohio and Colorado. She said managers provide some flexibility for employees to work from home. 

But she said HomeAway is "primarily an in-office organization" and they don't have open seating. 

3M

This Minnesota-based company employs 800 in Austin. Spokeswoman Fanna Haile-Selassie said the company does support flexible work arrangements. 

"We have a company-wide program called FlexAbility that allows employees to establish informal flexible work arrangements with their supervisor," Haile-Selassie said. 

3M staffers are allowed to work remotely or adjust their hours "on occasion," she added. 

"We also have more formal flexible work arrangements that allow for ongoing schedule changes," Haile-Selassie said. "3M has invested in technology to ensure our people can easily collaborate from remote locations."

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