Starting in May, Amazon will require employees to work out of the office at least three days per week. The company announced the plan in a memo published on Friday and attributed to CEO Andy Jassy (via CNN). In advocating for the policy, Jassy said a hybrid work arrangement would “strengthen” Amazon’s corporate culture and lead to better collaboration among its workforce.
“It’s not simple to bring many thousands of employees back to our offices around the world, so we’re going to give the teams that need to do that work some time to develop a plan,” Jassy said. “We know that it won’t be perfect at first, but the office experience will steadily improve over the coming months (and years) as our real estate and facilities teams smooth out the wrinkles, and ultimately keep evolving how we want our offices to be set up to capture the new ways we want to work.”
Shortly after the pandemic began, Amazon said it expected employees to return to the office in October 2020. The company went on to push back that date multiple times as successive waves of the coronavirus forced cities around the world to lock down. Amazon’s announcement comes in the same week that Activision confirmed it would require Blizzard employees to work out of the office at least three days per week starting in July. Like Blizzard, Amazon has seen many of its workers move to organize in response to the company’s policies. Most notably, there was JFK8, the Staten Island facility that became the first unionized Amazon workhouse when the majority of its workers voted to unionize last year. The move also comes after Amazon confirmed, at the start of the year, it would lay off more than 18,000 employees.