While well-known companies have recently been trying new tactics to get workers back in the office, The J.M. Smucker Company (the people behind Uncrustables, Jif peanut butter, and of course, Smucker’s jam) is finding success with a unique hybrid approach.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the company’s hybrid work requirements are different than most, with a policy requiring the 1,300 employees at J.M. Smucker’s Orrville, Ohio office to be in-office only during its 22 “core” weeks each year. What’s more, employees are only asked to come in for at least six days a month during core weeks. Core weeks are typically fall every other week during most months, with the exceptions being July and December, during which the company only has one core week.
The policy has been in place since January 2022, and while it took some time for the workforce to get used to the idea, the Journal reports that it has become very popular among employees. The office is usually between 70% and 80% full during these core weeks, with most employees taking advantage of in-office time by scheduling team meetings, lunches, and dinners during core weeks, reported the Journal. Outside of needing to be in-office for core weeks, The J.M. Smucker Company says employees are allowed to be based anywhere in the country.
The Journal mentions that Nicole Massey, Vice President of Marketing, lives in San Francisco, but travels to Orrville for core weeks. Massey makes up a percentage of employees that have become known as “super-commuters,” traveling from all parts of the country to be in-office during designated weeks.
“I travel more,” Massey says, “but I really feel I’m home and present actually much more than I would be if I was working at a company in the Bay Area and commuting even three days a week.”