Ford gives 30,000 employees the option to work from home forever
Ford Motor allowing more than 30,000 employees to work from home forever, use the office only when they need to, even after the pandemic is over.
Kiersten Robinson, Ford’s Human Resources Chief, announced the move in a global town-hall meeting with employees. It’ll apply first in North America.
Starting in July, Ford employees will be able to return to the office for assignments that require face-to-face interaction, such as group projects and meetings, and remain home for more independent work.
Like many employers, large and small, Ford is grappling with the reality that workers have grown to appreciate not commuting every day and working among family and pets. Half of the world’s workers now do so from home, up from 11% prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a global study of employers by Willis Towers Watson, a risk-management and human-resources firm. Even after the health crisis ends, companies expect one-third of global employees to continue to work remotely.
“People, to the extent they can, want to work where they want and when they want,” John Bremen, a managing director at Willis Towers Watson, said in an interview. “Companies are seeing that and saying, ‘If we can accommodate that, we will.’”
In a survey last summer, 95% of Ford’s global nonproduction staff said they wanted to maintain a mix of home and office work after the pandemic. The Dearborn, Michigan-based company finished 2020 with about 186,000 employees.
According to media reports, a handful of tech companies have signaled plans to offer remote work options. In October, Amazon — one of the first companies to move to remote work when the pandemic hit the United States about a year ago — extended the option for its office employees through June 30. Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has said that as much as half of the company’s workforce would be permanently remote within five to 10 years.