DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday said some of its salaried employees will move to a new hybrid schedule that will continue to incorporate remote work even after the coronavirus pandemic ends.
The automaker, which currently has about 30,000 employees in North America working from home, said the decision was based on overwhelming interest in such a schedule during a June survey.
Ford said it would let employees who are not site-dependent work from home if they want, though they would come into the office for specific purposes such as meetings, workshops or team-building activities. Individual employees are allowed to make that decision along with their supervisors.
To better accommodate the hybrid model, Ford said it would invest in new technology and reorganize some offices with a heavier focus on collaborative spaces instead of individual desks.
"We know there's a strong contingent who wants that flexibility to choose where to work," Jackie Shuk, global director of Ford Land, told Automotive News. "The onus is on us to make sure, when they do come on-site, we give them the space to be their most productive."
Ford ordered most of its salaried employees to begin working from home last March, and many have said they feel more productive working remotely. Ford was able to glean insights from its workers following a 10-week think tank that paired company officials with urban designers, architects, anthropologists, neurologists and psychologists. Additionally, a global employee survey found that 95 per cent of workers wanted to maintain at least some level of remote work.
The automaker said late last year that most salaried employees would remain remote through June of this year, and Shuk said this week there are no plans to shorten that timeline.