Ford delays salaried employees' return-to-office from March to April

Jordyn Grzelewski
The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. again is delaying a return to campuses for many of its salaried employees, the Dearborn automaker confirmed Tuesday.

The company had planned to start bringing its salaried workforce in the U.S. back to offices under a new hybrid work model this month, but says it's now targeting April.

"For more than a year we have been preparing to launch our new hybrid work model where non-site dependent employees can work flexibly between Ford campuses and remote options," Ford spokeswoman Monique Brentley said in a statement. "Given our ongoing safety protocols and vaccination rates, our campuses will begin welcoming additional team members onsite beginning in April."

News of the delay first was reported by Automotive News. Ford announced the March target in December. The pushed-back return timeline is just the latest in a series of delays as businesses have navigated the evolving coronavirus pandemic.

Following a surge driven by the highly-contagious omicron variant, COVID-19 metrics are now trending in a more promising direction in Michigan. The state's hospitalization rates and case counts have been on the decline for the last six weeks.

Meanwhile, Ford is proceeding with a plan to bring "select" employees back to campus to pilot the new hybrid model this month, Brentley said.

The automaker last year announced that it would implement a flexible work policy for some 30,000 salaried employees in North America and thousands more globally. The policy enables employees whose jobs do not require them to be on site to determine with their supervisor when, how and where they do their work.

Ford also announced a new short-term remote work policy under which tens of thousands of salaried workers can get permission to work at an alternate location within the country where they're based. They can do that for up to 30 days per year.

Ford previously reported that 88% of its U.S. salaried employees were vaccinated against COVID-19.

Twitter: @JGrzelewski