Some of Boeing’s remote workers have been ordered to return to the office to help fix supply-chain problems.
The company is getting resistance from workers who don’t like giving up their home offices when other colleagues don’t have them.
Most employees in Boeing’s parts-procurement operations will need to be in the office full time in July, Boeing confirmed Saturday.
The company refused to say how many workers were affected by the directive.
The back-to-office move is needed to support stepped-up production at a time when Boeing is facing parts related delays, company officials said.
Stan Deal, Boeing executive vice president and head of commercial airplanes operations, told employees in an internal company video posted Tuesday that the need to get back into the office to support the airplane is becoming more important.
Deal said, “Minutes and seconds count in response time to help satisfy our customer on issues that are getting in the way of delivery”
Boeing wouldn’t say when remote or hybrid workers will be required to spend more time in the office.
Boeing said back-to-office decisions are left to individual business units. Boeing values face-to-face collaboration and will push for more in-person work, the statement said.
As we increase production rates, hire thousands of new employees and continue our airplane development work, it’s beneficial to have teams in the office more often to support our customer commitments and collaborate in person, including sharing best practices.
Boeing didn’t say how many of its employees in the Puget Sound area currently work remotely.
More than half of those employees have been working in-person in Boeing manufacturing facilities, according to the workers union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
Around half of Boeing’s engineers and tech workers are still working from home most of the time, according to the Society of Professional Engineering Employees inAerospace.
There hasn’t yet been a broad back-to-office push despite Dugovich hearing that some engineers are being called back in.
There has been a lot of talk about people coming back into the workplace, but so far, it doesn’t seem to have happened.
Some workers in procurement operations said the back-to-office directive was unexpected.
One person said that they and many of their colleagues were still working from home two or three days a week and didn’t want to be back in the office full time.
The back-to-office policy was predicted to lead to employees leaving for other companies or even retire early.
One employee at the company that works mostly from home said that he would look for other jobs.
The employee, who asked not to be identified to protect their job, said the back-to-office directive clashed with the message of workplace flexibility pushed by other Boeing executives.
During a companywide meeting on June 14, CEO Dave Calhoun talked about the benefits of in-person work, but also stressed that giving employees some workplace flexibility was a huge benefit. I want to stay with them.
The Pandemic has taught us that people can work virtually, they can be remarkably productive, in some ways more productive than coming to the office.
The company’s virtual work policy seems “very conflicted”, one procurement employee said, adding that they hoped employees’ negative feedback might lead the company to walk back the new in-office directive.
It’s hard to know if such sentiments are widespread.
One long time Boeing employee who is still allowed to work from home several days a week said it would be difficult to lose that flexibility.
The worker said that even part-time remote work is an important job benefit, especially around here with the way the commute is.
The company is trying to beef up its ranks as it knows that its remote-work policies could create tension.
A key challenge in competing for talent was whether some of our competitors were more accommodative than others, according to a June 14 meeting.
The Boeing company has an opportunity to do this right by embracing virtual work.
Boeing is not the only company trying to get its policy right.
Microsoft acknowledged last week that it might not reach its goal of 50% in-office work until early next year.