Amazon Employees Urge CEO to Reconsider Return-to-Office Mandate

Amazon employees are pushing CEO Andy Jassy to drop a return-to-office mandate.

Jassy recently announced Amazon would require employees to work from the office a minimum of three days a week beginning May 1.

Jassy said, “Amazon’s leadership team, known as the S-team, decided it would be easier for employees to collaborate and invent together in person and that in-person work would strengthen the company’s culture.”

The move marks a change from Amazon’s policy during the pandemic times, which left it in the hands of managers to decide about their teams regarding the frequency of working from the office. Since October 2021, there’s been a combination of either fully remote work or hybrid work among the white-collar workforce of the company.

Employees of the company created a Slack channel to push for remote work and share their concerns regarding the recently announced return-to-work policy. Almost 14,000 staffers joined the Slack channel to push for the remote work policy.

The employees have also drafted a petition that calls for leadership to take back the new policy, saying, “New policy runs contrary to Amazon’s positions on diversity and inclusion, affordable housing, sustainability, and focus on being the Earth’s Best Employer.”

A draft of the petition states, “We, the undersigned, call for Amazon to protect its role and status as a global retail and tech leader by immediately canceling the RTO policy and issuing a new policy that allows employees to work remotely or more flexibly if they choose to do so, as their team and job role permits.”

The employees of Amazon also pointed to CEO’s previous statements on RTO plans, in which Jassy said, “There is no one-size-fits-all approach for how every team works best.”

A draft of the petition states, “Many employees trusted these statements and planned for a life where their employer wouldn’t force them to return to the office. The RTO mandate shattered their trust in Amazon’s leaders.”

The petition also points to research showing the benefits of remote work and the increase in productivity and also allows companies to reduce expenses and attract as well as keep top talent. It also mentions the hardships employees will face because of the RTO policy.