GM backtracks on back-to-work rule after employee backlash

General Motors is taking a step back from a back-to-work policy it revealed to employees last week.

On Tuesday, CEO Mary Barra sent a memo to employees offering some kind of apology for the timing of a new policy being released late Friday saying employees should return to work in the office three days a week.

She said now that GM’s plan will still include a more regular in-person presence, but it won’t make any changes to its back-to-office policy this year as the company continues to listen to employee feedback. The plan will still require employees to work in the office three days a week.

“The initial letter was a notification and the purpose of the update is to provide clarification and additional details,” GM spokeswoman Maria Raynal said Tuesday. “The timing has changed slightly, however, the overall plan has not changed.”

A nearly empty hallway at the Renaissance Center on June 15, 2022. The pandemic sent most of the 5,000 people who worked at GM's headquarters home, and few have returned.  The pandemic has sent most of the 5,000 people who worked in GM's Renaissance Center offices home, and few have returned.

In Tuesday’s memo sent to employees, which was obtained by the Free Press, Barra wrote, “We want to take this opportunity to address some of the questions, concerns and misconceptions we’ve heard. We recognize that the timing of the message, late on a Friday afternoon, was unfortunate. It was also unintentional.”

GM will release more information on its plan next month, Barra said.

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