The emblem of an electric vehicle from Ford Motor Co. E-Transit at a presentation in Washington, D.C., USA, on Wednesday, July 28, 2021.
Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images
DETROIT — Ford Motor is delaying its hybrid work resumption program for out-of-office employees from October until no earlier than January due to the rapidly spreading delta strain of the coronavirus.
The automaker informed staff of its plans Wednesday morning, about five months after initially announcing the flexible work program for its approximately 86,000 unemployed employees worldwide.
“The state of the COVID-19 virus remains very fluid, so we are adjusting the start of our hybrid work arrangement to no earlier than January 2022,” Ford said in a statement.
About 120,000 to 130,000 of Ford’s 182,000 employees, mostly in manufacturing, have already returned to work. The schedules are not expected to change much for employees who need to be in a particular facility to perform their duties.
Ford’s 56,000 U.S. employees returned to work in May 2020 after automakers in Detroit were forced to shut down for several weeks at the start of the pandemic.
Ford also announced that it is launching a new “short-term” remote work arrangement that will allow employees who do not have to work in one location to work from another location in the country of employment for up to 30 days a year.
“The flexible hybrid model will be the primary work arrangement for employees whose work is not site-dependent,” the company said.