General Motors is taking a flexible, agile approach to its return-to-the-office strategy as it attempts to transition its 155,000 global employees back to the workplace.
“Work appropriately,” is the message CEO Mary Barra and other company leaders offered this week, meaning that arrangements will vary depending on each employee and project. This could range from conducting training remotely for factory workers, or allowing salaried employees to permanently work from home or with a hybrid model.
“It is not about a policy or a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Laura Jones, GM’s global talent director. “But truly that evolution of our culture for everyone.”
The company is opting for this approach mainly due to employee feedback after GM conducted several employee preference surveys over the past year.
This messaging echoes a previous decision the company made to simplify its dress code, which Barra created when leading HR, replacing the company’s 10-page dress code with simply: “Dress appropriately.”
Still, the company has provided very few details about how much this ambiguous approach could cut down on office-related expenses, and just how many employees could stay remote.
Not only does the company anticipate that this arrangement will help mitigate costs, GM also believes that it will aid in employee recruitment and widen the talent pool.
In fact, Cyril George, global talent acquisition director at GM, said the company hired more workers in the U.S. during the first quarter of this year than all of 2020 and 2019 combined, with 20% of the new jobs being fully remote.