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GM, Ford return-to-office dates months away

Kalea Hall
The Detroit News

Detroit — It will be months before General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. send their salaried employees back to the office to work. 

GM is planning to reevaluate in October if it's possible to send employees back to its downtown Detroit offices. Ford pushed back to January its plans to bring employees back to its Dearborn headquarters. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles hasn't said when its salaried workforce might return.

GM is planning to reevaluate in October if it's possible to send white-collar employees back to its Renaissance Center offices, shown here. Ford pushed back to January its plans to bring employees back to its Dearborn headquarters. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles hasn't said when its salaried workforce might return.

Salaried workforces at the Detroit Three and other major companies have been working from home since the spread of the coronavirus started to accelerate in March. At manufacturing plants, which shut down in late March, blue-collar workers were sent back to work with safety protocols beginning the week of May 18. 

"People who are working effectively remotely are encouraged to continue doing so," GM spokesman David Caldwell said. "October is the next point in time in which we'll review this and if there are staffs that need or want to come back that would be the first time in which that would be considered."

GM has about 40,000 U.S. salaried workers. When people do return to the office, it will be done in a "phased approach," Caldwell said. 

Ford originally told 30,000 U.S. salaried workers that they wouldn't come back before September, but recently told them that the remote work will likely remain in place through January.

"Really, it came down to the health and safety of the workforce, which continues to be the top priority," Ford spokeswoman Marisa Bradley said. 

Ford surveyed its virtual workforce and found that almost 75% preferred to continue working remotely for the remainder of the year, Bradley said, so "it was decided just to hold off and we'll look at it again as we approach the end of the year."

khall@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @bykaleahall