Ford Motor Co. is pushing back its return to work date for salaried employees to next year as cases of COVID-19 escalate.
The automaker also told its employees on Wednesday that it was introducing a short-term remote work option for some employees whose jobs do not depend on on-site presence.
This new remote option will allow these employees to work anywhere they want for up to 30 days a year with supervisor approval. The reason is to give employees the flexibility to choose where and when they want to work, said Dan Barbossa, Ford spokesman.
Ford has told its global hired workforce that it will delay starting the hybrid work regime “at the earliest” to January 2022 rather than starting it in October, Barbossa said.
In the meantime, as many employees continue to work remotely,Ford said it will be monitoring the virus and “we will explore opportunities for team members to come back and experience the hybrid model,” Ford said in a statement.
On Monday, the Michigan Department of Health reported 3,920 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 deaths in the past three days, an average of 1,306.7 cases per day.
Ford announced its hybrid work agreement in March. The arrangement will combine remote and on-site work to give employees the freedom to choose how, when and where tasks are to be performed. The nature of the work will dictate the on-site work, which will usually be for collaboration. For example, a team may decide to come to the office twice a week for a project that requires face-to-face collaboration, while working remotely on other days, or there may be a period when employees are needed on-site. for a full week, then work from home the rest of the month.
“Over the past 18 months, we have focused on the employee experience, from protecting the health and safety of our team through our protocols, to increased flexibility and resources to guide our members. team as we work in new ways, ”Ford Chief People Officer Kiersten Robinson said in a statement. “Ensuring that we can support our employees with the tools necessary to prepare and plan for a successful hybrid work model is essential for their well-being, business continuity and service to our customers. “
When Ford announced the hybrid plan, it also said it would redesign workspaces to have more community and team areas replacing desks and individual offices. In Dearborn, Ford said it would have collaboration centers for reservations when a specific project would benefit from in-person interaction.
Ford employs approximately 182,000 people worldwide. An estimated 18,000 Ford salaried employees in North America work off-site, according to Ford. About 100,000 Ford employees with site-specific jobs, such as factory workers or engineers, have returned to their jobs.
The changes announced on Wednesday will have no impact on hourly or dependent employees of the site.
In April, General Motors introduced what it calls Work Appropriatement to its global workforce of 155,000 employees. Working appropriately gives many salaried workers more flexibility to work remotely or travel to the office when needed to do their job best.
GM salaried workers in Southeast Michigan started returning to the office this summer, but Work Appropriately has taken into account how this is happening for each of them.
In May, Stellantis said its white-collar workers are expected to continue working remotely most of the time after they officially return to the office. Stellantis was born from the merger in January of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the manufacturer Peugeot PSA Group. He said he envisions a 70% distribution of remote work to 30% onsite. Most of the staff are likely to return next year, but some will be back later this year. It employs 400,000 people worldwide.
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Parts of this story were edited after publication.
Editors Phoebe Wall Howard and Eric D. Lawrence contributed to this story. Contact Jamie L. LaReau at 313-222-2149 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @jlareauan. Read more on General Motors and subscribe to our automotive newsletter. Become a subscriber.