Mercedes’ U.S. HQ staff will stay home all year

Several corporations, including Google, Microsoft and Amazon, have extended the remote-work plans they imposed this year as employees remain skittish about possibly contracting the coronavirus.

Mercedes’ metro-Atlanta headquarters emptied in mid-March as schools closed and Georgia went into lockdown, but business has continued from living room couches, kitchen tables and patio chairs. Speeks said it is actually going smoothly.

“We are able to function effectively and it gives people an opportunity” for better work-life balance, the CEO said.

He described the work-from-home policy as a “trial” without a firm expiration.

“We are going to see how that goes,” Speeks said. “It gives us an opportunity to try something different.”

The new normal aside, Mercedes does not plan to bail on its 2-year-old glass-and-steel building.

“We still need to occasionally have some physical meetings in a post-COVID world,” Speeks said. “We also have to allow for the fact that some people like to come into the office.”

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