Salaried Ford Employees to Work Remotely Through June

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Image: Ford Motor Co.

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With so many individuals still working remotely to combat The Dreaded Coronavirus™ from spreading, there have to be thousands of pools on when employees will finally be allowed to return to their cobweb-filled offices. But they have to be getting pretty boring because its hard to imagine anybody confidently putting their money down on late 2021 when this whole thing started in February and the press still thought it wouldn’t be a big deal. The narrative has definitely changed since then and continued social distancing has become a popular solution among businesses, even as state-sanctioned lockdown protocols decline after a few were ruled to be unconstitutional.

On Thursday, Ford decided to keep most of its salaried employees at home until at least June of 2021. That’s eight more months of not going into the office and matches the timetable General Motors issued a few weeks ago.

But why would a corporation continue paying for office space that it no longer thought it needed? Ford has already called staff back during the summer to pick up their personal effects, just in case the buildings needed to be repurposed for something else. While the health risks are quite real, COVID-19 has also been the perfect cover for enacting sweeping changes.

“The health and safety of our workforce continues to be our top priority,” Ford explained. “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.”

General Motors has already said the same, indicating that it couldn’t possibly entertain the idea of people returning en mass until June 30th, 2021. But that doesn’t mean a return to normal, GM doesn’t want to pay for more office space than it needs to either. “During this period, we’re listening to feedback and working on the elements of a more flexible work culture,” a corporate spokesman explained to Automotive News last month.

Meanwhile, there are heaps of companies that have already committed themselves to allowing staff to work remotely until the end of time  including Coinbase, Facebook, Shopify, Square, and Twitter. Amazon and Google have also toyed with the idea of keeping employees home on a permanent basis, but have thus far decided only to make it mandatory through the first few months of 2021. While all cited health and safety as the main reason for the decisions, a few actually acknowledged an opportunity to save on operating costs.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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