The days of fully remote working are over. On December 5, General Motors CEO Mary Barra informed staff members that the company is altering its return-to-work policy, mandating that salaried employees within 50 miles of a designated office site report in person at minimum, three days a week, starting January 8.
“To achieve the biggest impact, we requested hybrid staff to work three days a week at the beginning of the year. Adherence has varied, though,” Barra stated in the email. “Starting on January 8, we will specifically ask hybrid staff to be present on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at the very least. Senior managers will still have the discretion to decide whether a team requires extra in-office time,” the email continued.
“Several executives believe going back to the office is fundamental to creating a culture of creativity and teamwork in the workplace,” said Cynthia Schipani, a University of Michigan professor of business administration and business law, in a statement.
GM employs 43,500 salaried workers in the US, with over 31,600 in Michigan. When the corporation demanded that salaried employees return to work last year, it encountered resistance. A previously established “Work Appropriately” concept, which allowed teams the freedom to work from home, a lab, an office, or anywhere else they could perform their best work, infuriated the staff. When the model was first implemented, GM stated it was not a “policy.”
For now, GM’s rivals in Detroit are sticking to their current work location policies. According to Stellantis representative Jodi Tinson, the company’s “new era of agility” policy is still in effect. Implemented in 2021, the company calculated that “to enable our teams to be their most innovative, creative, and efficient,” workers could work 70% of the time remotely and 30% in the office. Additionally, the business has mentioned that it might look into a sale-leaseback strategy for its technical center and North American headquarters in Auburn Hills, where it would sell the land and lease back the space.
Ford is not subject to any in-office mandates. The carmaker continues to give its managers the freedom to decide which days are best for in-office meetings with their staff.