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GM to move hundreds of salaried workers as remote work takes off during pandemic

GM to move hundreds of salaried workers as remote work takes off during pandemic

FINANCIAL NEWS

GM to move hundreds of salaried workers as remote work takes off during pandemic

Chevy Bolt SUV joins parade of electric vehiclesWhether people want them or not, automakers are rolling out multiple new electric vehicle models. The latest offering comes from General Motors, which is unveiling a Chevrolet Bolt compact SUV. (Feb. 14)APGeneral Motors is shifting hundreds of salaried workers among its southeastern Michigan locations and declaring where some new hires will work as it prepares to bring its remote workforce back to the office starting this summer.The location shifts, GM leaders say, will improve collaboration among teams.”The moves also reflect adapting to post-pandemic workplaces where the future will be more flexible,” said GM spokesman David Caldwell. GM leaders held team meetings on Wednesday with white-collar workers to discuss ways in which the workplace might change for some of them when they return to the office, Caldwell said.”These were internal meetings on the subject of the ongoing planning for return-to-work, in which there was active discussion on the benefits of remote work and how to keep some of that going forward,” Caldwell said in an email. “This was not a roll-out of a plan, however, but it’s definitely progress towards that.”Could these long-gone vehicles come back: Chevrolet, Cadillac, Dodge classic cars offer opportunityStimulus checks hit users’ accounts: Wells Fargo apologizes for banking outagesGoing forward, GM expects more ability for people to work from home, while also being able to come to the workplace for collaboration, Caldwell said. But he stopped short of defining how GM’s workspace will look in the future, saying that is still being decided. But he said that while Detroit remains GM’s global headquarters, more of GM’s product-oriented teams will be based in Warren, which has been the company’s hub for its product development for 60 years.The automaker is taking these steps:About 900 workers from its customer care and aftersales offices in Grand Blanc, Michigan, will move to the Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan.GM will move several marketing and product people from its global headquarters in the Renaissance Center in Detroit to the Technical Center in Warren. GM is still determining how many employees will make this move. Finally, GM will hire a “significant number” of new IT specialists who will be assigned to work at the RenCen.The new hires are part of GM’s announcement last fall that it would hire 3,000 new technical experts this year. A “significant portion” of those hired will be in IT jobs, Caldwell said. GM has hired about half of that 3,000 target to date. Some hires will work in Austin, Texas, he said.All three moves will occur once GM starts bringing salaried workers back to the offices in late June or July, Caldwell said.GM is undecided on what it will do with the facility in Grand Blanc that had housed the Customer Care and Aftersales team, Caldwell said. Customer Care and Aftersales supplies replacement parts for GM vehicles and non-GM vehicles under the ACDelco and GM Genuine Parts brands. Most of GM’s 68,000 salaried workers in the United States have worked remotely since about this time last year. GM’s total headcount in the United States is unaffected by the shifts, Caldwell said. Pre-pandemic, GM employed about 20,000 employees at the Tech Center in Warren, Caldwell said.The automaker recently confirmed its plans to keep its global headquarters at the RenCen in Detroit where about 5,000 of its employees work.A published report in 2019 cited unnamed sources saying GM CEO Mary Barra was looking to sell the RenCen, which GM acquired in 1996, to Detroit real estate mogul Dan Gilbert.GM still owns the building. Caldwell declined to comment on whether Barra might shop the RenCen again in the future, saying only, “This is our headquarters and our headquarters will remain on the riverfront.”GM leaders are still determining a return-to-work strategy and figuring out how office space and health protocols will work. Ford Motor Co. gave employees its return-to-work plans Wednesday.“We really don’t know exactly how it will look other than that the future will be more flexible,” Caldwell said. “That’s sort of our theme.”Caldwell said GM ultimately wants to offer salaried employees a combination of “the collaboration you get from in-work places with the flexibility to work remote when needed. That’s what we are working on.”Follow Detroit Free Press reporter Jamie L. Lareau on Twitter @jlareauan


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