As Ford continues to evaluate pandemic conditions in North America, the company announced today it has extended the current remote work arrangements through June 2021. This decision is an important one, determined by several factors including the current infection rates, local and state orders as well as the productivity of teams working from home and it supports our ability to prepare our workspaces for how we will work in the future. Announcing this extension of work from home enables the workforce to plan accordingly.
The extension of the remote work arrangement will allow employees who have been working remotely the time and flexibility to plan their return to on-site facilities.
“As we continue to evaluate the timing for our virtual workforce to return to on-site operations, the health and safety of all continues to be our top priority,” said Kumar Galhotra, president, Americas and International Markets Group. “This decision has been determined by several factors including current infection rates, local and state orders, as well as team productivity and our ability to prepare future workspaces.”
Teams are busy preparing workspaces on campus to accommodate a new way of on-site working. Preferences have shifted in recent months, and as a result, Ford anticipates most employees will work both on-site and remotely. Workspaces will be used to facilitate in-person collaboration and provide a seamless flow of work – regardless of location – allowing employees more flexibility and opportunity in where they work.
Since the workplace preference study was conducted in June, more than 22,000 U.S. team members have collected their personal belongings and borrowed office equipment to make their work-from-home environments more comfortable and functional, while also allowing for the preparation of workplaces for a post-COVID-19 redesign. Results from an ongoing study will be used to guide the transformation of workspaces. Findings of this study are expected to be shared in November.
To further ease the transition to working from home, Ford Land has launched two supply stations in Dearborn – one at Ford World Headquarters and the other at the Product Development Center – that are similar to a business center. Employees can visit at their convenience to print documents and pick up office supplies, such as notepads, pens and other items.
As many teams have expressed a desire to collaborate on-site, in-person, Ford Land is exploring opportunities for this prior to a return to the workplace. Those opportunities will be communicated as conditions improve and will be carried out in compliance with company rules and government regulations.
Many resources are available to help employees address some of the personal challenges that could arise and to support remote working, including childcare support and flexible work arrangements, wellbeing programs and learning options. More information is available on @Fordonline, including wellbeing resources here.
In the meantime, Ford is continuing its Dearborn campus transformation, with a focus on increasing density in certain areas of the campus and consolidating its footprint in others. With much of the workforce working remotely, the company has the opportunity to pull ahead some elements of the plan, including consolidating some underused facilities in the Dearborn area.