The automaker will begin surveying salaried employees today to determine work arrangements for 2021, it said in a statement. For the remainder of this year, white-collar workers have the option to work remotely, in the office or a combination of both.
“As we make plans to bring back the remote workforce, many team members favoured these new ways to work and found them empowering, flexible and cost effective,” Ford said in the statement. “This has inspired us to expand the optionality for this work arrangement beyond September.”
This is the second time Ford has pushed back plans to bring salaried workers back into offices. Hourly workers returned to factories a month ago and some have tested positive for Covid-19, although Ford has said the virus was contracted outside its facilities.
Workers at two factories producing Ford’s top-selling vehicle, the F-150 pickup, have pushed back, saying the automaker isn’t doing enough to ensure their safety.
The automaker, which has denied that safety protocols are inadequate, said delaying salaried workers’ return helps ensure there’s enough personal protective equipment for factory employees, who can’t work remotely.
The decision was first reported by Automotive News.