GM issues return-to-office mandate for remote workers

General Motors Co. became the latest company to ask corporate employees to return to the office at least part of the time.

Employees who had worked remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic are expected to “shift to a more regular face-to-face work cycle,” which includes three days on the GM campus each week, a spokesman said Friday. The return to office mandate will take effect at the end of the year, the spokesman said.

“We are committed to maintaining flexibility to ensure our employees can meet personal commitments,” the spokesperson said. “We will share details with them in the coming weeks.”

Detroit-based GM joins a long list of corporations, including Apple Inc., Peloton Interactive Inc. and Comcast Corp., which have asked workers since Labor Day to return to offices several days a week.

GM, like much of the auto industry, allowed white-collar workers to log in remotely under its “work fit” strategy during the pandemic.

Ford Motor Co. said Saturday that it maintains a “flexible hybrid” model that only requires salaried workers to appear in person at group meetings. Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. offers its corporate employees the option to work from home all the time.

Those policies stand in stark contrast to Tesla Inc., where CEO Elon Musk ordered workers to spend 40 hours a week in the office in June and dismissed remote work as “fake.”

While many CEOs remain critical of remote work, some research has shown that people who work from home are just as productive and typically more satisfied than office workers.

Still, the ability to work remotely presents a wrinkle for companies with a mix of white-collar and front-line workers: Management must walk a fine line when extending flexibility to some employees and not others. .

GM employs more than 94,000 people in the United States, including about 2,300 workers at its global headquarters at the Detroit Renaissance Center, according to the company’s website.

—With the assistance of Keith Naughton

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