GM Delays Return-To-Office Mandate
GM executives issued a memo announcing their company would delay the return-to-office mandate until the first quarter of next year. This represents a major shift from the flexible “work the way you want” policies the company announced and approved in April. GM executives described the new policy as “flexible” and said the time spent at the office will vary based on the employee, the project, and the week.
GM’s return-to-office mandate causes mass exodus
A new return-to-office mandate is forcing GM workers to go back to the office for three days a week. The new system is expected to go into effect sometime later this year, though no specific date has been set. GM first introduced a “Work Appropriately” model last year that allowed employees to work from home on the days that were convenient for them. In Michigan, the GM headquarters are located downtown in the Renaissance Center, while its Technical Center campus is located in Warren. Other companies, such as Ford Motor Co. and Stellantis NV, have implemented hybrid work models.
While some employees criticized the new policy, others praised it as a step toward creating a “post-pandemic” corporate culture. GM executives also touted the new policy as an opportunity to attract the best candidates without requiring them to relocate. According to the company, GM plans to hire 10,000 new employees globally by 2021. And while this will mean some employees working remotely, it will allow the company to recruit the best workers without requiring them to relocate.
Amazon’s return-to-office plan
A new return-to-office policy is being rolled out at some companies and could create a stand-off between managers and workers. Adam Savaglio, an employment lawyer in Hamilton, Ontario, said that the new guidelines could create an atmosphere of discrimination. Employees often claim that they have been doing better work from home and have a better quality of life. But some managers feel that returning to work requires an increased commitment.
GM introduced Work Appropriately in April 2021 – a philosophy that gives employees more flexibility to choose when and where they work. The new policy is designed to balance company needs with the needs of employees. GM CEO Mary Barra has stated that she often works from home and from remote locations. On Friday, Barra told employees that a COVID-19 pandemic had improved.
Unilever’s trial of four-day workweek
The company is trying a four-day work week to reduce its workweek. A few years ago, the idea was deemed too radical for large companies, and many companies shied away from it, but a recent trial by Iceland’s government has reportedly been a success. The trial took place from 2015 to 2019, and it is expected to become a permanent plan by 2021. The company has reported a rise in productivity and profits since trialling the four-day week, and its employees are working fewer hours. Meanwhile, Microsoft has also tried it, and its employees are reporting a 40% productivity increase. This experiment has been followed by many other organizations around the world.
Last November, Unilever announced a trial of a four-day workweek for all its employees in New Zealand, and if the trial proves successful, it plans to replicate the scheme across the rest of the company. The company commissioned a study from the Henley Business School to determine the effects of the four-day working week on employees. It surveyed 2,000 staff in 2019, and another 500 employees in 2021 to evaluate the results. Overall, the study found that the four-day workweek significantly improved employee health and wellbeing.
Morgan Stanley’s return-to-office plan
CEO James Gorman backed off his order requiring employees to return to work by Labor Day. He also announced a new estimate for the amount of time companies should wait before employees are able to return. “If I had planned to mandate that employees return by Labor Day, I would have been disappointed,” he said in a conference call. He acknowledged that the plan had fallen apart due to the pandemic, and has delayed it until September.
LinkedIn, the world’s largest online job search engine, has paused its return-to-office mandate until social distancing measures and personal protective equipment are eliminated. Instead, the company plans to adopt a hybrid approach that blends in-office and remote work in order to meet the needs of employees. It will wait until early 2022 to fully implement its hybrid strategy.