Ford Motor Co. is riding the wave of remote work.
On March 17, the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker announced a new policy that will allow all non-dependent employees work remotely on a permanent basis. The policy will affect approximately 30,000 workers across North America.
The company is one of the first automakers to adopt a long-term remote working model for its employees.
Ford employees, who have been working from home for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will return to the office for tasks that require face-to-face interaction starting in July. At that point, they will meet with managers to develop an office remote work schedule that best suits your needs.
“The nature of the job determines whether or not you can adopt this model,” said David Dubensky, president and chief executive of Ford Land, the automaker’s real estate division. “There are certain jobs that depend on the place, [meaning] you need to be in the physical space to get the job done. “
However, he also said that giving employees the ability and flexibility to choose where to work “is very powerful”.
According to Dubensky, Ford monitors productivity and employee satisfaction while working remotely for more than six months.
A June 2020 survey by the company found that 95% of its global employees would prefer to work part-time at home. He also found that many workers were happier and more productive while working remotely.
Ford currently requires face-to-face employees, such as factory workers, to undergo temperature checks, complete coronavirus symptom surveys, contact tracking and cleaning procedures at its facilities. These procedures will continue when employees return to the office this summer.
Although the automaker does not require employees to be vaccinated before returning to the office, it will provide educational materials to workers about available COVID-19 vaccines.
Remote work was successful for both employees and employers during the pandemic, and many technology companies have taken steps to incorporate models of work at home into their long-term plans.
Earlier this year, Spotify and Salesforce gave employees the option to “work from anywhere” permanently, and Facebook, Twitter, Square, Slack and Microsoft announced long-term remote working models in 2020.
However, although General Motors and Toyota have extended temporary workers’ policies to workers, Ford is the only automaker to announce a flexible working model designed to continue after the pandemic is over.
On March 18, President Joe Biden announced that his government would achieve its goal of administering 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in his first 100 days in office until March 19, 42 days ahead of schedule.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 115 million doses of vaccines have been administered since the United States began its vaccination program in December 2020.