DETROIT — General Motors on Tuesday launched a new remote work standard, dubbed "Work Appropriately," to reflect adjusted workplace expectations post-pandemic.
The new guideline is designed to give employees the flexibility to work from wherever they are most efficient, GM said, and it gives the automaker access to a broader talent pool beyond its office locations.
After the pandemic forced most employees to work remotely early last year, many have continued to work away from the office. Others, such as manufacturing, lab and warehouse employees, returned to work as soon as safety protocols were in place. Some jobs, such as manufacturing or lab assignments, still must be done in person for the most part, GM said.
"The future of work is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and our values and behaviors will guide us in this culture change," CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. "It is up to leaders to focus on the work, not the where, and we will provide the tools and resources needed to make the right decisions to support our teams."
"Work Appropriately" is modeled after the two-word dress code, "Dress Appropriately," that Barra coined in 2009 as vice president of global human resources.
"GM Canada is aligned with the ‘work-appropriately’ approach," GM Canada spokeswoman Jennifer Wright said in a statement to Automotive News Canada. "We will continue to listen and gather feedback from employees as we support a collaborative and flexible work culture, where appropriate, going forward.”
It's not a set policy, GM said, but instead a mindset to reflect the future of jobs.
"Because this is about a shared mindset, it cannot be about a manager's preference or an employee's preference. To be fair and equitable, it is centered around the work itself. There is a good portion of work that cannot be done remotely," Kim Brycz, senior vice president, GM global human relations, said in the statement.
The flexible workplace standards can continue to expand the automakers' recruitment net, said Cyril George, global talent acquisition director.
In the first quarter, GM offered jobs to 3,300 people -- more than 2020 and 2019 combined.
"If this was a few years back, most of this hiring would have happened in and around Michigan," George said. "About 20 percent of the employees are in an area where we do not have a GM office."
Jeff Massimilla, executive director of connected customer and mobility solutions, said his team has been working on GMC Hummer EV development from various locations over the past year. The team test drove the Hummer virtually.
"It's been really, really cool to see what you can do when you challenge yourself because the world challenges you," he said.
In the short term, GM expects to bring employees back to work in July if they want to operate from a GM facility, spokesman David Caldwell said last week. Thousands of GM employees have already returned to work, he said.