Ford Motor Co. employees who have been working from home should make sure they enjoy their new home office space as they’re going to be there at least six months longer than previously planned.
The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker told workers who are already working from home that they will remain there through June 2021, according to Automotive News. There are currently roughly 32,000 employees working remotely; 26,000 of them are working remotely in southeast Michigan, a Ford official told TheDetroitBureau.com.
“The health and safety of our workforce continues to be our top priority,” the automaker said in a statement. “With careful consideration of the current environment including local and state requirements, as well as ongoing planning for our work spaces, we have extended the current work arrangement for our North America team working remotely to continue through June.”
There had been some speculation that the automaker was working on a plan to bring some workers back into offices part-time, having them share work stations with other employees, who would come in on alternate days. There is no word if this directive scuttles that plan.
Other automakers have already made the move to tell employees they’ll be working from home well into 2021. General Motors officials said in August that they were targeting Oct. 1 to bring back some employees with the remainder back in their offices before the end of the year.
However, that plan was amended in early September when officials said that some employees had returned on either a full- or part-time basis, it was likely that most of its salaried employees will continue working from home through at least the first part of the year and likely through June.
Toyota took it a step further in July, telling “eligible” employees that they can continue working from home permanently. The Japanese automaker had planned to bring them back on a defined date, but upon further review found that their employees were more productive at home than they were working in an office setting.
Some of that, according to the report, is due to the elimination of their commute. The employees eligible to take advantage of the plan include clerical and engineering staffers as well as those caring for children or elderly parents.
Toyota executives said they hoped the plan, which begins in September, will provide a better work-life balance for those who take advantage of it.