Automobile

GM sets January deadline for returning to office

DETROIT — General Motors has set a new deadline of Jan. 30 for most salaried employees to stop working remotely for the majority of the workweek.

That’s at least a month later than the automaker initially intended to call workers back to the office for three or more days a week. Executives had said in late September that the change would go into effect before the end of 2022 but backed off to reconsider the issue and solicit feedback after experiencing backlash.

The company’s senior leadership team ultimately decided to push forward with a three-day-a-week minimum while allowing for flexibility depending on jobs and department.

“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,” a GM spokeswoman said in a statement Friday.

The company did not confirm the timing or specifics of the modified plan. The Detroit Free Press reported the Jan. 30 deadline and other details of the new plan earlier Friday.

Work Appropriately is the name of the remote-work policy that GM adopted in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea was that employees could largely choose how and where to work, based on their individual situation and needs. In some cases, employees moved farther from a GM office or otherwise modified their personal lives with the understanding that they could stay remote indefinitely.

GM told employees in an internal message this month that managers will provide more specific details about the return-to-office plans “for their teams and the timing or implementation” Oct. 25. CEO Mary Barra, President Mark Reuss, CFO Paul Jacobson and Chief People Officer Kim Brycz are scheduled to discuss the issue with employees at a “global town hall” Oct. 26.

Brycz is retiring at the end of the year, so bringing employees back to offices will happen under the leadership of her successor, Arden Hoffman. Hoffman is currently the human resources chief at Cruise, GM’s majority-owned autonomous-driving subsidiary.

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