GM Postpones Timeline For When Employees Return To Office Amid Setback

Executives of General Motors Co. Postpone the timeline for returning white-collar workers to the office after a backlash from a decision released last week requiring employees to return to work in person three days a week, according to a Tuesday memo.

“We recognize that the timing of the report, late on a Friday afternoon, was unfortunate. It was also unintentional,” the automaker’s top executives, including CEO Mary Barra and President Mark Reuss, wrote in the memo obtained by The Detroit News. .

GM told employees on Friday that they must return to the office three days a week later this year. That decision came after GM introduced a “Work Appropriately” model last year that gave GM teams the flexibility to work from home, a lab, an office, or wherever they can do their best work.

This May 12, 2020 file photo shows a general view of the Renaissance Center, the headquarters of General Motors, along the Detroit skyline from the Detroit River.

In Tuesday’s memo, executives said the company will now make no changes to its “Work Appropriately” model before the first quarter of 2023. GM will not determine which days employees go to the office, the executives wrote.

“As we move to a more regular personal work cycle, our plan is to jointly design the solution that best balances the needs of the enterprise and the needs of employees,” GM spokesperson Maria Raynal said in a statement. “We will spend the next few weeks listening to feedback and will work to incorporate it into our plans.”

Executives explained in the memo that the decision to change the model had been discussed at a senior leadership meeting earlier last week and that some information had been shared “prematurely” with some parts of the company.

“So we chose to communicate company-wide before we had a chance to collaborate more broadly on the implementation plan,” they wrote. “We believe the benefits of being transparent — even with sub-optimal timing and partial detail — outweigh the risk of creating mistrust by letting you hear the information second-hand.”

The company plans to provide more information to employees by the end of October, the memo reads: “We continue to occasionally request constructive dialogue about our culture, collaboration, speed and innovation. We are committed to listen.”

The Detroit Free Press reported this in Tuesday’s memo earlier Tuesday.

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