GM issues back-to-office mandate for remote employees

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

Employees who have worked remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic are expected to “move into a more frequent in-person work cycle,” which includes three days on GM’s campus each week, a spokesman told know on Friday. The spokesman said the return-to-office mandate would take effect later this year.

“We are committed to maintaining flexibility to ensure our employees can live up to personal commitments,” said a spokesperson. “We will be sharing 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.that has required workers since Labor Day to return to the office a few days a week.

GM, like much of the auto industry, allows white-collar workers to log on remotely in line with its “work right” strategy during the pandemic.

Ford Motor Co. said on Saturday it was maintaining a “flexible matching” model that only requires employees to be present in person at team meetings. Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. give its employees the option to work from home at all times.

Those policies are the exact opposite of Tesla Inc.CEO Elon Musk ordered workers in June to spend 40 hours a week in the office and dismiss remote work as “pretend”.

While many CEOs still criticize remote work, some research have shown that people who work from home are equally productive and generally more satisfied than office workers.

However, the ability to work remotely is a challenge for companies with a mix of white-collar and casual workers: Management must stay on track as they extend flexibility to a number of employees and not for others.

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

—With Keith Naughton’s support

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