Ford’s Salaried Staff to Work from Home All Summer
Mass returns not expected until at least September
Ford says it’s in no rush to have its salaried employees in North America return to their normal offices.
Salaried employees were among those ordered to go home when Ford joined other carmakers in shuttering its North American plants in mid-March as COVID-19 began to spread.
The original lockdown was supposed to last two weeks but ended up stretching into May. Now Ford has told affected salaried staffers to keep working from home until at least early September.
Image: Ford Motor Co.
About 12,000 salaried Ford employees in North America whose work can’t be done from home are back in the office already. The company had hoped to gradually bring back another 30,000 office workers beginning this month.
Ford says its top priority for now is providing a coronavirus-free environment for plant workers and others who cannot do their jobs remotely. The company acknowledges it is still trying to figure out how to maintain social distancing and safe working conditions in an office environment.
What Other Carmakers Are Doing
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has begun returning small numbers of white collar workers in select areas, notably those who work in vehicle and component test facilities.
General Motors has set no formal date for the return of its salaried work-at-home employees in North America.
Toyota’s North American headquarters in Plano, Tex., opted for a “platooning” approach when it invited all 4,000 staffers to work from home in March. Employees were organized into teams, whose members took turns working at home or office.
Daimler announced late last month that nearly 900 employees at its Mercedes-Benz USA headquarters in Atlanta will continue to work remotely through the end of the year. The facility was shut down in mid-March.