After 24 months of allowing employees to work remotely, General Motors plans to bring salaried workers back to the office in January. According to people familiar with the matter, GM’s department heads began meetings this week to discuss plans to return to the office regularly. Sources say the policy will require employees to be in the office at least three days a week starting January 30. Some flexibility will be offered depending on the specific job role and department.
GM’s spokeswoman, Maria Raynal, declined to offer specific timing for the return but said the company was discussing the policy with employees.
“After engaging with teams and listening to feedback, GM leaders are in the process of sharing the next steps of our Work Appropriately evolution with employees as we create a flexible model with a more regular in-person cadence across the company,” Raynal said in an e-mail statement.
GM CEO, Mary Barra, announced a similar plan to employees last month, revealing a start date before the year’s end. After experiencing critical feedback from employees, Barra apologized for the “unfortunate” timing of the announcement and said the company would hold off on the changes while listening to employee feedback.
Much of the backlash from workers revolved around two of GM’s senior leaders, CFO Paul Jacobson and Senior Vice President of Strategy and Innovation Alex Wexler, who still have “work from home” listed on their company profiles in GM’s internal directory. Raynal answered questions about the two executives by saying, “I don’t know anyone’s plans or schedules at this time.”
In her original note to employees, Barra outlined reasons for the return. “Over time, we lost some of the important, intangible benefits of regularly working together in-person including casual mentoring, more efficient communication, and bringing an enterprise mindset to our work,” the note read.
“We are entering a rapid launch cycle that, quite frankly, will define our future trajectory, and we need to drive change with speed – individually and collectively – so we can achieve our goals,” said Barra.
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