Walmart Is Laying Off, Relocating Corporate Workers

America's biggest private employer is also cutting back on remote work
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2024 12:56 PM CDT
Walmart Is Latest Company to Cut Back on Remote Work
Shoppers exit a Walmart store in Englewood, Colorado.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

America's largest private employer delivered rough news to many of its corporate employees Tuesday. The company is cutting hundreds of corporate jobs at its headquarters and wants its remote workers to shift to in-office work most of the time, the Wall Street Journal reports. "We are asking the majority of associates working remotely, and the majority of associates within our offices in Dallas, Atlanta, and our Toronto Global Tech office, to relocate," Walmart Chief People Officer Donna Morris wrote in a memo to employees, per Reuters. Walmart has 1.6 million employees, and Morris said the number of people being laid off is "small in percentage."

The company says most of the employees being relocated will go to its headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, with others going to company hubs in New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area. "We believe that being together, in person, makes us better and helps us to collaborate, innovate, and move even faster," said Morris. Brian Jacobsen, chief economist at Annex Wealth Management, tells Reuters the move appears to be "part of a broader push towards operational efficiency." Ordering remote workers back to the office is a way "to get people to quit instead of doing a layoff," he says.

Walmart plans to open a new headquarters on a 350-acre campus a few miles away from its current headquarters in Arkansas next year. The company is the latest large employer to try to shift away from remote work, but other employers have faced a lot of resistance, the Washington Post reports. According to Gallup, hybrid work has become the norm for remote-capable workers, with 54% working partly on site and partly at home. (More Walmart stories.)

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