'It's probably not going to work out': Amazon CEO confronts office deniers

Push for return to office continues to dominate headlines

'It's probably not going to work out': Amazon CEO confronts office deniers

Amazon’s CEO is cracking down on employees who aren’t prepared to come into the office at least three days a week, following changes to the company’s remote work policy.  

In an internal meeting, Andy Jassy told staff: “If you can’t disagree and commit… it’s probably not going to work out for you at Amazon because we are going back to the office at least three days a week.”

The new requirement was implemented in May after COVID-19-related policies allowing individual teams to choose their working location were changed.

Jassy announced on the company’s blog in February that having employees come into the office would strengthen Amazon’s culture while also making it easier to learn, model and practice, as Amazon’s “respective views of what we thought was optimal evolved as the pandemic wore on and then eased.”

Following the announcement, almost 30,000 Amazon employees signed an internal petition against the new requirement. The petition read: “Amazon’s top-down, one-size-fits-all RTO [return to office] mandate undermines the diverse, accessible future that we want to be a part of.”

Employees also staged a staged a walkout in protest of the return-to-office policy, which was encouraged by the Amazon Employees for Climate Justice and an informal group formed specifically to oppose the policy.

Learn why is a remote work policy important in this article.

Tracking office attendance

The in-person policy remained in place, however, and this month, some US amazon workers reported being tracked and penalised for not meeting the required number of in-office days.

Some employees received an email from the company denoting that they were “not currently meeting our expectation of joining your colleagues in the office at least three days a week,” according to the Financial Times.

Apple and X have also made changes to their policies to get employees back into the office, with Apple threatening punitive action against staff who refuse to return to the office part time and Elon Musk requiring all employees to work from the office unless they have a specific exemption.

Amazon has yet to make a public comment regarding the ongoing dispute.

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