By on June 4, 2020

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On Wednesday, Ford Motor Co. offered some clarity to salaried workers wondering just how much longer they’ll have to work from home. If you happen to be one of those individuals and missed the official announcement, we’d kindly ask you to take a seat and find something to bite down on so you don’t end up hurting yourself.

Citing ongoing safety concerns tied to the coronavirus pandemic, Ford has decided to keep salaried employees home until at least September — tacking an extra two months onto its earlier prediction. 

The automaker previously prognosticated that nearly all of its North American staff would be able to return to work by the end of June, with the start of July being the less-ideal scenario. What’s another couple of months, right?

“This timing allows us to continue prioritizing safety actions such as sufficient [personal protective equipment] for all of our place-dependent work force who have already returned, as well as the proper supply for those who would be returning later this summer, while also continuing the modifications to all of our facilities to ensure the proper social distancing protocols are in place,” Ford said in a statement.

With people now gathering to enjoy the warmer weather or the smashing of property (a pastime seeking to undermine baseball as America’s greatest), one wonders what exactly Ford’s game is. The Blue Oval has already allowed roughly 100,000 employees back inside its respective facilities, accounting for over half of its global workforce. General Motors certainly hasn’t issued such aggressive cautionary measures, though it may have been waiting for someone else to set a date in order to avoid scrutiny.

Frankly, we’re not sure who we’d rather be in this scenario. Line workers presumably have a greater chance of being exposed to COVID-19 and have to contend with annoying protective gear/health protocols while they toil in warm factories. Meanwhile, white-collar employees have nowhere to go — and a varying amount of work to do — while their sanity gradually devolves as the line between work and home blurs.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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24 Comments on “Ford Employees Housebound Until September...”


  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    What an amazing time to be a Human Resources professional.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    I wonder if, when they reevaluate this policy next (I’m guessing late July or early August) what the odds are that they reverse it and pull people in sooner.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    My employer still has stay-home-if-you-can orders even as the county we’re in goes ‘green’ tomorrow. I don’t know when this change, and they may figure out that the office doesn’t need to be as large in the future.

    As for Ford’s office types, I’d argue that they are more at risk than line workers due to the proximity of cubicles, conference room seating, and lower ceilings forcing the air circulation to be closer.

    Besides, it’s the line workers making money for Ford most directly, especially short-term. Office workers don’t build trucks.

  • avatar

    I do not trust corporate talk. My feeling is that many salaried workers will be laid off. If you do not want someone in office for 5 months why to keep them employed? Eventual goal is to automate all work.

    BTW why Mark Fields did not work from home? He could.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “Eventual goal is to automate all work.”

      You can’t automate purchasing, engineering, marketing, HR, or accounting. These workers aren’t superfluous; they’re doing actual work from home.

      • 0 avatar

        You can. Live another 10 years – you will be surprised what is possible with AI and machine learning. I am sorry to say that but biology based intelligence has no future simply because it cannot survive outside Earth or narrow margins of “habitable” zone. Conditions on planet will dramatically change in future and it may be any time. But regardless AI does not ask for pay or promotions. No healthcare cost either, no 401K match, nothing. It works for free and it is not sentient which makes it super effective and super fast.

  • avatar

    BTW my previous company sent everyone to WFH and after that shutdown and sold HQ. So they have nowhere to return. Make a guess what happens next. They already laid off 400 workers last year and 700 the year before.

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    i loved working from home. called back now

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I’m hating it. I miss the warm-up/cool-down commute, and resent the intrusion of work into my safe space at home. I also find I’m working more hours.

      For me, it hasn’t been the romantic time with family that some perceive it to be. I love my family, but we spend most of the day in four separate corners of the house doing our things.

  • avatar
    18726543

    I do grid design work for a major electricity provider in the mid-Atlantic region. When work-from-home initially became a thing in late March I was a bit worried about how much of my job I’d be able to do from home. As it turns out, nearly all of it. Our initial back-to-work date was to be June 29th, but about 2 weeks ago that date was shifted all the way up to September 8th! I was shocked to hear that, but also happy! With no kids at home and an introvert’s mindset through-and-through, I wouldn’t mind if we never went back.

  • avatar

    Some may find the linked CDC document interesting.

    https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article

    Bottom line: some mitigations show low to no effectiveness is stopping the spread of this thing so many fear. Quote from article: “Although mechanistic studies support the potential effect of hand hygiene or face masks, evidence from 14 randomized controlled trials of these measures did not support a substantial effect on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza. We similarly found limited evidence on the effectiveness of improved hygiene and environmental cleaning.”

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    It amazes me these companies are continuing the charade of viewing the Corona Cold to be far more dangerous than it really is. Just astounding.

    Hair salons have opened up but some schmuck can’t sit at his desk at Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      A cold is a respiratory virus. Covid-19 appears to be a vasculotropic virus. It infects and damages the endothelial cells that protect the cardiovascular system. It first enters the lung where it destroys the lung tissue. The destruction of the lung tissue breaks open some blood vessels, and then it starts infecting the endothelial cells. It causes blood clotting, kidney damage, inflammation of the heart, stroke, and encephalitis. It is not a cold and can leave behind permanent damage. Permanent damage.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @EBflucked
      Swedish experts are now saying that they made a mistake with their strategy.

      It isn’t all that difficult to prove that SARS-CoV-2 is more deadly than a cold let along the flu. We rarely ever see death from the cold. I’ve been in healthcare for more than 30 years. I haven’t seen anyone die of a cold or even heard of it.

      As per the CDC web site they state that the annual influenza death rate ranges from 12,000 – 61,000 deaths ANNUALLY since 2010.

      REMEMBER – ANNUAL DEATH RATE.

      USA is at 110,000 deaths

      Do the math.

      SARS-CoV-2 is between 2 – 9 times more lethal AND that is ONLY the tally for the first 5 months months of 2020. we still have 7 months to go.

      It is patently obvious that SARS-CoV-2 is more deadly.

      Only a troll, an idiot or a Trumpoid simians would argue against that point!

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @EBflucked
      Swedish experts are now saying that they made a mistake with their strategy.

      It isn’t all that difficult to prove that SARS-CoV-2 is more deadly than a cold let along the flu. We rarely ever see death from the cold. I’ve been in healthcare for more than 30 years. I haven’t seen anyone die of a cold or even heard of it.

      As per the CDC web site they state that the annual influenza death rate ranges from 12,000 – 61,000 deaths ANNUALLY since 2010.

      REMEMBER – ANNUAL DEATH RATE.

      USA is at 110,000 deaths

      Do the math.

      SARS-CoV-2 is between 2 – 9 times more lethal AND that is ONLY the tally for the first 5 months months of 2020. we still have 7 months to go.

      It is patently obvious that SARS-CoV-2 is more deadly.

      Only a troll, an idiot or Trumpoid simians would argue against that point!

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        Never mentioned Sweden Lou_MR.

        Here’s some more inconvient facts for you:

        “The most important estimate came on May 20, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported its best estimate was that the virus would kill 0.26 percent of people it infected, or about 1 in 400 people. (The virus would kill 0.4 percent of those who developed symptoms. But about one out of three people would have no symptoms at all, the CDC said.)

        Similarly, a German study in April reported a fatality rate of 0.37 percent. A large study in April in Los Angeles predicted a death rate in the range of 0.15 to 0.3 percent.”

        “Several other coronaviruses exist; the most common versions usually cause minor colds in the people they infect.”

        “The current coronavirus pandemic appears more comparable in terms of overall mortality to the influenza epidemics of 1957 and 1968, or the British flu epidemics of the late 1990s. Of course, the United States and United Kingdom did not only not shut down for any of those epidemics, they received little attention outside the health care system.”

        But I’m sure you hysterical people were all for the riots. Large mass gatherings of people but yet you wanted small businesses closed because someone going to get their hair cut was a major threat.

        Hypocrites…all of you.

    • 0 avatar
      Brumus

      This absurd over-reaction is surely Obama’s fault, correct?

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        I know reading must be hard for you but my original post had nothing regarding politics in it. Not sure why you had to bring up Obama.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @ebflucked

          SARS-CoV-2 is between 2 – 9 times more lethal AND that is ONLY the tally for the first 5 months months of 2020. we still have 7 months to go.

          It is patently obvious that SARS-CoV-2 is more deadly.

          Only a troll, an idiot or Trumpoid simians would argue against that point!

          Keep on arguing.

          It will give me more time to decide which of those 3 categories you fall into.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            Lou, Lou, Lou, I’m pretty sure you’re smart enough to communicate civilly without bringing politics or insults into it.

            “I’ve been in healthcare for more than 30 years.”

            When you insult people you sound like someone from a much lower tier career. This is a car forum, remember… please?

            I happen to mostly agree with your technical points about the virus and it is surely not a bug to be trifled with. (I do think we need to keep the economy moving. That includes figuring out how the less vulnerable people can keep working and be productive- because overcoming this virus is danged expensive for every country in our world!)

            Anyway, that’s my piece about TTAC and civility.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @JimC2 – my apologies.

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