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Andy Jassy : Amazon rethinks office return plans. Remote Work Is Fine ?

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Amazon reverses demands that staff return to office

The online retail titan will now delegate the decision to its directors who will choose which staff members need to return

Amazon has ditched plans to bring all workers back to the office three days per week, instead leaving it up to department leaders to decide how often staff should be present.

Andy Jassy, chief executive, has torn up plans introduced under Amazon’s billionaire founder Jeff Bezos, who stepped down from the helm in July.

Amazon.com has been grappling with returning its staff to the office, initially planning for a return from September, then pushing the date back to January 2022.

Mr Jassy said Amazon will now delegate the decision to its directors, leaders of business lines at a local level, who will choose which staff members need to be in the office and how often.

The new rules will also apply to the US company’s UK offices, where it has thousands of white collar staff in buildings in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Cambridge.

Mr Jassy said in an email to staff: “Instead of specifying that people work a baseline of three days a week in the office we’re going to leave this decision up to individual teams. This decision will be made team by team at the director level.”

Mr Jassy added that he wanted staff who worked remotely to be able to go to the office for team meetings if they are asked at short notice.

He said: “We want most of our people close enough to their core team that they can easily travel to the office for a meeting within a day’s notice.”

The surge in delta variant cases in the US has given other Big Tech firms pause on their return to work plans. Google pushed back its return to the office to January 2022.

Apple faced a public staff backlash over its return to work and also delayed its plans. Others such as Twitter have promised staff they can continue to work from home indefinitely if they choose to.

Amazon remote work

Amazon Softens Return-to-Office Policy, Says Remote Work Is Fine

Amazon.com Inc. will let company managers decide when corporate employees need to return to the office — if at all — shifting its earlier stance that workers should resume working from offices in January.

“We’re intentionally not prescribing how many days or which days — this is for directors to determine with their senior leaders and teams,” Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy said in an email to employees. “The decisions should be guided by what will be most effective for our customers; and not surprisingly, we will all continue to be evaluated by how we deliver for customers, regardless of where the work is performed.”

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Amazon rethinks office return plans, adding more flexibility

Amazon.com Inc. expects that some corporate employees will work remotely for the foreseeable future, as the tech behemoth once again changed its return-to-office plans.

Chief Executive Andy Jassy said in a memo to employees Monday that corporate team directors will now decide if staff need to work from the office.

“We expect that there will be teams that continue working mostly remotely, others that will work some combination of remotely and in the office, and still others that will decide customers are best served having the team work mostly in the office,” Mr. Jassy said. He said the number of days employees work from the office or what days they do so will be decided by directors, alongside their teams and senior leaders.

Amazon just two months ago said it was delaying its corporate employees returning to the office until at least Jan. 3, 2022, and before that had suggested that employees should try to be in the office at least three days a week. It had earlier been targeting a return in early September.

The company does not break down how many of its 45,000 employees in the UK are in office-based roles, but it has corporate offices in Manchester, London and other parts of the UK. Total staff numbers will be rising in line with expansion plans previously announced.

The online retail firm had previously extended its return to office date guidance to early 2022.

At this stage, Amazon wants most of its office workers “close enough to their core team that they can easily travel to the office for a meeting within a day’s notice”, Jassy added.

Amazon will allow many employees to work remotely, indefinitely

Amazon will allow many tech and corporate workers to continue working remotely indefinitely, as long as they are able to commute to the office when necessary, according to a blog posted Monday.

That’s a change from Amazon’s previous expectation that most employees would need to be in the office at least three days a week once offices reopen in January.

Monday’s message, signed by Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, explains that Amazon directors — a title at the company signifying an executive who oversees a handful of teams — will have the discretion to allow teams under their purview to stay remote.

“We expect that there will be teams that continue working mostly remotely, others that will work some combination of remotely and in the office, and still others that will decide customers are best served having the team work mostly in the office,” Jassy wrote. “We’re intentionally not prescribing how many days or which days — this is for Directors to determine with their senior leaders and teams.”