Ford becomes the first car maker to announce its remote work strategy, according to a report by CNBC. This comes amid reports that other automotive companies like Toyota and General Motors are also in talks to establish their own work from home policies. This move by Ford will take effect from July this year (when most employees are expected to make a partial return after a year of being away), and will see over 80,000 of Ford’s office workers carry out their duties away from their official stations.
According to Kiersten Robinson, chief of people and employee experiences at Ford, “The extent of the employee’s remote work will depend on the individual’s responsibilities and their input from their supervisors.”
“If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last 12 months, is that a lot of our assumptions around work and what employees need has shifted,” she added.
According to Forbes, Ford’s employees will come into the office on a need-to basis, mostly for group projects and meetings.
This remote work strategy is not aimed at the company’s 100,000 factory workers who have largely returned to work. In a quote to The Washington Post, David Dubensky, chairman and chief executive of Ford Land said, “The nature of work drives whether or not you can adopt this model. There are certain jobs that are place-dependent- you need to be in the physical space to do the job… Having the flexibility to choose how you work is pretty powerful. It’s up to the employee to have dialogue and discussion with their people leader to determine what works best.”
In addition to this, Ford is also looking to redesign their corporate office interiors, with plans to change furniture, fixtures, walls etc, in an attempt to make their spaces better suited for virtual connectivity among coworkers and managers. “The workspaces will be retrofitted to be versatile and adaptable to future needs for change,” Forbes reports.
Ford’s decision to go remote is an informed one; coming after a survey carried out on its employees in June of last year, where 95% of them reported that they’d want a hybrid work model and are more productive when they work from their homes. Outside of Ford, many other surveys have been conducted that all indicate the increased acceptance of remote work by employees and employers alike. PwC published the results of a study earlier on this year that showed that 55% of executives envision continued remote work and only 17% said their employees would make a quick return to the office after the pandemic.
Over the past few months, other major corporations like Spotify, Microsoft, and Dropbox have been announcing their remote work strategies in response to the pandemic; many of them pledging to let their employees work from home even after the pandemic passes. Ureed.com, MENA’s leading digital marketplace, has also been allowing their employees to work from the safety and comfort of their homes since April of last year, and within that time has managed to secure funding, improve the functionality of it’s platform and exceed the 50K freelancers milestone.
Searching for remote freelance opportunities? Find thousands on Ureed.com, the GCC’s largest freelance marketplace.