KETTERING — Synchrony Financial has announced they will leave their physical location in Kettering in 2021 and transition employees to a mostly remote workforce, a move that will hurt the community, according to Kettering’s City Manager.
The company has been operating on a work-from-home plan that was extended until at least the first week of January 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, company representatives said. Due to the successes of the remote workforce plan, and preferences of employees, the company will plan to leave its location in the Kettering Business Park next year.
The company’s employees make up about $2.7 million in annual tax revenues, said Kettering City Manager Mark Schwieterman.
“The loss of that income tax revenue will impact city operations,” he said. “The tax revenue goes to our general fund and our general fund supports all of he basic operations that the city offers.”
“Based on our current work from home efforts, we have proven we can support our business, partners and customers no matter where we work," Lisa Lanspery, Senior Vice President of Public Relations for Synchrony told News Center 7′s Monica Castro. “This week’s announcement is about implement a long-term strategy to drive operational efficiency and optimization, by strategically realigning the site footprint and how we work.”
“Our employees have proven that they can successfully work from home. In fact, based on employee feedback most would prefer the option to work from home.”
Part of Synchrony’s plan includes creating hubs for remote-based employees to reserve time at a new physical location where they can complete their workdays.
“The Kettering Hub will be built on the concept of “purpose-driven space” configured to maximize collaboration and to meet the needs of the day – as well as reservable workspace for small teams or individuals as needed. The Kettering Hub will have reservable, flex workspaces for full-time work at home employees to use as needed,” the spokesperson said.
Employees moved to fully work-from-home operations will be provided a $500 stipend to invest in their home setup. Additionally, employees will be allowed to gather certain workplace items, like monitors and chairs, from the workplace when it is safe to do so, the spokesperson said.
City of Kettering officials said the move by Synchrony out of the Kettering Business Park “will significantly impact the city’s income tax revenues in a negative manner moving forward," according to a report from the Dayton Daily News.
“(Kettering) will immediately begin working with the building owner at 950 Forrer Boulevard to locate potential future tenants and determine next steps for economic growth,” Kettering community information manager Mary Azbill told the newspaper in a statement. “We wish Synchrony all the best and hope to continue to work together to fulfill future needs.”
Synchrony is one of Kettering’s largest employers, with about 1,600 employees based at the location, according to a City of Kettering website.
In response to the city’s statement on income tax impact, the Synchrony spokesperson said the company’s new plan is designed to keep employees in the communities they live in.
“Physical buildings don’t define our commitments to communities, our people do” the spokesperson said. Our new way of working is designed to keep our employees in their current communities."
“Our people will remain in the communities and support those local community efforts through volunteerism and other citizenship activities.”
Synchrony provides financial services to individuals and businesses including credit cards, mortgages, and other financial products, according to a City of Kettering website.
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