Remote Work At Dell




Team Members

Round Rock, Texas


* As of February 2020

Dell Team

Dell Team

Dell Remote Company Q&A

Mohammed Chahdi, Director, Human Resources - Interview with

How important is remote work to your business model?

It’s critical. Flexible work options reduce our impact on the planet, create happy and more productive team members, and help Dell win by attracting and retaining the best talent. Working flexibly is just the way we do business at Dell.

What do you consider the biggest benefits of a remote workforce?

Work flexibility allows team members options for how, where, and when to do their work. These options create a collaborative work environment between the needs of the company and the team member. A flexible workforce is just as productive (if not more so) as the traditional office model—reducing the global carbon footprint, and helping individuals balance their work life and their personal life. Bottom line: it’s an advantage and a benefit that helps Dell be successful.

What were the main reasons to integrate remote work into your workforce?

Dell builds technology that enables people to do their best work at any time, from anywhere in the world. So it only makes sense that we were early adopters of flexible work arrangements for our own team members. Recognizing that today’s global work environment promotes creativity and collaboration outside of traditional office hours and locations, in 2009 we created our work flexibility program called Connected Workplace.

What traits do you look for in candidates for a remote job?

Autonomy and self-discipline are absolute requirements for remote workers. We look also for people who are proactive in their approach to their lives and their work.

How do you conduct interviews for remote jobs?

We use video interviewing technology that allows us to have just-in-time video interviews as well as pre-recorded so that the candidate can respond via video on their own time. We know our candidates are busy people!

How do you convey your remote culture in the recruiting process?

We use social media and various digital properties to share remote stories featuring our employees on an ongoing basis. In particular, we love Instagram as it is primarily employee-generated content and is very authentic. Our employees post about working from home on a Friday with a photo of them in their backyard working outside or with their pet and tag @LifeatDell. Our team scans Instagram for those posts and re-posts to our account. It’s simple and very successful.

What is your hiring process for remote workers?

Our recruiters speak to our remote work setup and process and what to expect. We also encourage our interviewing teams to have someone included in the interview stage who also is a remote worker.

Do you use third party testing or evaluation services when hiring remote workers?

We do background checks and some of our locations and business units use third-party assessments—for example, in our sales organization.

How do you conduct onboarding for remote workers?

We have all of our on-boarding materials in a digital format, including a website, documentation, and video. We also have a Day 1 success team that is dedicated to providing support via chat/IM, email, and calls during the early part of on-boarding. The feedback from our new employees has improved significantly as a result of this approach.

Do your remote team members meet in person?

Yes, we aim for once a year meetings in person.

What elements are key to successful working relationships with remote teams?

Communication is key. Keep the lines of communication open at all times, whether through regular meetings or just a quick check-in via instant messaging.

What is the hardest part about managing a remote workforce?

Ensuring the team member does not feel forgotten or overlooked in regards to regular updates to development opportunities based on them not having the face-to-face relationship.

How do you keep remote employees engaged and feeling part of the bigger picture?

Communication and information sharing are key. Dell has developed and actively supports an Employee Resource Group (ERG) called Conexus that champions a flexible work community by creating a collaborative work environment. Participation in the group gives our team members an outlet to share their experiences, questions, and success stories, and provides valuable resources.

What were your biggest fears in managing remote workers?

I had no real fears of managing remote workers, but I always am cautious to ensure I communicate regularly and that my virtual door is always open for them.

How did you implement a remote work policy?

Our remote work policy was implemented formally in 2009 via Dell’s Connected Workplace program. This program enables eligible team members to work remotely, at variable hours or in other flexible capacities that fulfill the needs of both their job and their lifestyle. Before Connected Workplace, flexibility at Dell was informal, with most arrangements being made one-on-one between team members and managers.

What advice would you give to a team considering to go remote?

First, do your due diligence. Explore if—and to what degree—your organization can support flexible work arrangements. Talk with other companies to gather best practices and lessons learned. Create remote program strategies and policies that will work for your company. Educate leadership/management on work flexibility. Partner with IT/facilities/HR. Build a robust back office that offers training, toolkits, and FAQs. Design regular health checks and progress dashboards to measure the state of the program. Communicate and collaborate with your workforce to develop a program that allows mutual benefits and positive results.

What challenges have you encountered building a remote team?

There were several challenges we encountered that led us to make accommodations early on in the development of the program:

  • Overall adoption of the practice and any barriers to entry, for example, how widespread will adoption be, who will be early adopters, which employee groups will be unable to participate and/or won’t want to, etc.
  • Leadership perceptions and recognizing a remote employee can be just as productive (if not more so) as an office employee
  • Providing leadership with training and tools to ensure success within their teams
  • Ensuring seamless technology access across any geography/country

What are the most effective tools for remote team communication?

There are several modes that the team uses: instant messaging, online meetings, team meetings, project collaboration, or email.

What has changed about how your remote team operates?

Technology is constantly changing and improving the way we interact remotely.

What is your personal remote work environment?

View some examples in this video highlighting what life is like for remote workers at Dell.

What are the biggest benefits of being a remote worker?

There are so many benefits whether personal or professional. For me I’m able to take additional time to focus on physical well-being and my family.

How do you personally manage work-life balance?

It can be hard at times, but you need to disconnect in order to be successful professionally and personally. I’ve made my home office in a separate location. I ensure that when I am with my family, I’m focused on them.

What tips do you have to disconnect when working remotely?

Have your office space in an appropriate location not within areas used during personal time. Learn that the work will still be there in the morning.