GM employees who have been working remotely due to the pandemic will be required to return to the office at least three days a week starting later this year, the automaker confirmed on Friday.
An internal message to employees, first received by Automotive News and confirmed by GM on Friday, attributed the postponement of GM’s Work Reasonable policy to progress in controlling the pandemic, saying, “The COVID-19 situation has improved dramatically.”
“As the COVID landscape has improved dramatically and as we accelerate our transformation and enter a rapid adoption cycle, we continue to evolve Work Approcately to deliver the best collaboration, entrepreneurial mindset and impact. Effective later this year, employees who have transitioned to remote work some or all of the time during the pandemic will transition to a more regular face-to-face work cycle and will now be expected to work on campus for three days each week,” said GM spokeswoman Maria Raynal in a statement via email on Friday. “We aim to remain flexible to ensure our employees are able to meet their personal commitments and we will share details with them in the coming weeks.”
According to an article in Crain’s Detroit business, GM’s message to employees was attributed to the “Senior Leadership Team,” which includes CEO Mary Barra, President Mark Reuss and 12 other top executives. The message, which also cited a desire to encourage more collaboration in the future, did not say specifically when the new policy would come into effect.
On April 20, 2021, GM unveiled a new philosophy called Work Appropriately that signaled a culture shift for the 113-year-old automaker.
Work Appropriately gave many employees the flexibility to work where they could best do their jobs. GM viewed it as a hiring and retention tool because GM has better access to talent since not all of its employees are forced to relocate to Michigan or make daily commutes.
GM’s new return-to-office plan couldn’t come fast enough for Renaissance Center. The site of GM’s headquarters became a virtual ghost town as COVID-19 sent office workers packing to work from home. Among them: around 5,000 GM employees.
GM could not provide figures on how many employees show up at RenCen’s offices on a daily basis because the number of employees according to “work appropriate” fluctuates daily.
It was pretty quiet without her. This was asked for back in June what would happen to the RenCen for being so empty was, plus GM owns part of the building.
Since the pandemic, RenCen lost Deloitte LLP as a tenant, and Blue Cross Blue Shield relocated about 50 of its 2,000 employees to a smaller Detroit office.
Free Press contributor Jamie Lareau contributed.
Freie Presse contributor JC Reindl contributed.