General Motors caves to spoiled employees, delays forcing white-collar workers to come to office 3-days per week

Detroit-headquartered General Motors has reportedly put in reverse a plan for white-collar workers to physically resume working in the office rather than continue in their jobs remotely from home.

As an amendment to its so-called hybrid Work Appropriately policy that was implemented in April 2021, GM senior executives had initially announced a protocol for employees to return to a corporate campus setting at least three days a week.

They subsequently decided to pump the breaks when the plan announced last Friday was met with salaried employee dissatisfaction including what apparently emerged on online message boards.

GM is hardly the only company that has encountered similar employee resistance from the cubicle crowd in the post-COVID -19 pandemic environment.

In a memo on Tuesday, the multinational auto manufacturer’s CEO Mary Barra reportedly postponed any implementation until next year and also described as “unfortunate” the timing of the Friday afternoon announcement.

“Our plan was always, and still is, to collaboratively design the solution that best balances the needs of the enterprise with the needs of each of you. The solution will include a more regular, in-person presence,” Barra wrote, according to the Detroit Free Press. “However, determining how, when, and where teams will increase their in-person collaboration ultimately will be designed by the people leaders who know their organization best. We do not plan to mandate which days of the week will be collaborative days. In no scenario will our Work Appropriately evolution begin before Q1 2023.”

A GM spokeswoman indicated that GM is listening carefully to employee feedback as it crafts specifics for its corporate workforce in this matter.

The GM rep also insisted the company hasn’t abandoned its three days on-site policy and that only the potential timing has been adjusted. More details are expected to be disseminated next month.

In an earlier message, Barra reportedly had contended that “Over time, we have lost some of the important, intangible benefits of regularly working together in-person including, casual mentoring, more efficient communication and bringing an enterprise mindset to our work.” She also implied that an impending “rapid launch cycle” necessitated a change in the policy.

GM is the largest car maker in the U.S. Obviously, the factory worker contingent who actually build the vehicles on the assembly line doesn’t work from home and reportedly had returned to the shop floor after a two-month shutdown during the height of the pandemic.

The flexible policy for white-collar workers was seen as a hiring and retention benefit in a tight labor market.

“The massive Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit had become somewhat of a ghost town when COVID-19 sent workers packing. Among them: roughly 5,000 GM employees. In June, it was questioned what was going to happen to the RenCen because of how empty it became. GM owns part of the RenCen towers,” the Free Press noted about the real estate that was sitting dormant, which also presumably had a ripple effect on nearby businesses.

Watch a report from Yahoo Finance:

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