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Workers at General Mills’ headquarters won’t have to return to the office until next spring.

The food maker said earlier this week it will allow all office workers at its North America locations to work from home through May 2021 if their jobs allow. About 3,500 people work at the company’s Golden Valley home office.

Executives have expressed optimism about how well employees have adapted and succeeded in their new work-from-home routines. Despite this, General Mills said Thursday it expects the majority of workers to eventually return to the workplace, with the possibility of more schedules splitting work time between the office and home.

“We believe there is value in employees being together in person to collaborate and foster a culture of learning, growing, and belonging,” said Kelsey Roemhildt, a General Mills spokeswoman.

Office locations outside North America are in different phases of returning to the workplace. The company is making those decisions based on “science, government guidance and the external landscape,” Roemhildt said.

While many food-processing plants were hot spots for corona­virus transmission early on in the pandemic, General Mills reported minimal disruption to production. Chief executive Jeff Harmening said last month that more than 98% of its plant and logistics workers were showing up to work globally.

“Our supply chain is running really effectively and the reason is because we’ve taken care of our workers,” he said.

Earlier this month, Target told its Twin Cities corporate employees that most can expect to continue working virtually through at least June. The retailer is the largest employer in downtown Minneapolis, with more than 8,500 workers in its corporate headquarters.

Kristen Leigh Painter • 612-673-4767