GM is calling for white-collar employees to return to office (RTO) following the implementation of a flexible at-home “Work Appropriately” strategy put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the worker response to the latest RTO mandate has been tepid at best, with many workers criticizing the move, and more broadly, GM leadership.
Many GM workers are taking to social media to vent their frustrations regarding the new RTO mandate, with multiple threads on the General Motors subreddit calling out the RTO mandate as unfair, ineffective, and hypocritical.
“Not only is the action of mandating three days a week off-base, the way it was delivered was really deplorable,” writes one user. “Right before the holidays… so we can all stress about how drastically our work lives are going to change in a short amount of time while we’re with our families.” The user goes on to say that General Motors is leaving its employees to scramble to find child care and transportation options over the holidays.
“I still want to see data proving that we are more effective in office than home,” writes another user.
“I’ve been here over a decade and I’ve never see morale this low,” writes another.
“Work appropriately, as long as it’s my way,” writes yet another.
Among the criticisms is the change to an open office format and shared working spaces, which are said to negatively impact camaraderie and make people feel more like a number than an employee. Available work space also seems to be in decline, while employees are facing a compressed workload as well.
Salaried employees are also pointing to a meager 3.5-percent pay increase that fails to even cover inflation, as compared to major gains realized by UAW members following a six-week strike. Employees also point to GM’s recent decision to enact a $10 billion stock buyback program, all while reducing its budget by $2 billion and terminating employees.
Back in October of 2022, GM sent out a company-wide request asking for a return to in-person work starting January 30th, 2023, but so far, employees have been reluctant to fulfill the request. To drive the point home, GM CEO Mary Barra recently sent out a company-wide email saying that workers would be required to RTO at least three times a week by the start of the 2024 calendar year.