IF YOU'VE EVER FACED the problem of how to fit your entire family around the table for Christmas dinner, then spare a thought for the staff of HP, who are about to face the problem on a grand scale.
The problem recently arose when HP CEO Meg Whitman, writing from her desk in her corner office, announced that telecommuting will cease within the firm.
Her logic for this was "aimed at instigating a cultural shift that will help create a more connected workforce and drive greater collaboration and innovation". It's a worthy sentiment on the face of it, but the reality is a bit different, because HP doesn't have nearly enough office space.
It turns out that 80,000 HP employees have been telecommuting, and suddenly its facilities department has to accomodate them all.
The communique from Whitman went on to say, "During this critical turnaround period, HP needs all hands on deck."
The INQUIRER would pay good money to be a fly on the wall on the morning when 80,000 employees turn up asking where they can put their coffee mugs and photos of their children. A more accurate description would be "we're aiming to break the Guiness World Record for the biggest game of musical chairs in history".
She added, "We now need to build a stronger culture of engagement and collaboration and the more employees we get into the office the better company we will be."
It's an interesting idea, although we suspect that it's more likely to cause riots in which the weaker employees are crushed, leaving a leaner, fitter, Darwin approved workforce ready to occupy the available desks and allowing HP to dramatically reduce its staffing footprint without having to make redundancy payments.
She's a clever one, that Whitman. µ