Amazon to allow employees to work mostly from home indefinitely

The US giant Amazon logo is pictured on the opening day of a new distribution center in Augny, near Metz, eastern France, on September 23, 2021. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP) (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images)

Amazon is trying to get their employees back to the workplace by 2022, but with so many offices around the globe, they are leaving that decision to individual teams and their managers.

CEO Andy Jassy wrote a message to employees grateful for their work during the pandemic. It has been an unprecedented time for thousands of workers, many of whom stepped up their online orders while working from home.

"It hasn’t been easy and not everything has gone perfectly, but the impact you’ve had on the lives of consumers, sellers, developers, enterprises, creators, and brands in helping them cope with this discontinuity has been remarkable," wrote Jassy.

Originally, the company aimed to have employees back in the office by September 2021, but that date was pushed back to January 2022, with the expectation of working in-person at least three days a week.

But, as Amazon has teams all over the world, Jassy said there would not be a one-size-fits-all approach to returning to the office.

Instead, the decision will be left to those teams. Jassy expects some teams will remain working mostly remotely, others may work both remote and in-person, and others still may choose to work mostly in-person. Amazon leadership does ask workers to be close enough to their core team that they can travel to the office for an in-person meeting within a day’s notice.

To sweeten the deal, Amazon will allow four weeks of remote working for teams back in the office.

"We also know that many people have found the ability to work remotely from a different location for a few weeks at a time inspiring and reenergizing," wrote Jassy. "We want to support this flexibility and will continue to offer those corporate employees, who can work effectively away from the office, the option to work up to four weeks per year fully remote from any location within your country of employment."

Jassy said leadership will try to have specific plans for returning to the office put together before January 3.

Thousands of Amazon employees have not been able to leave the office, including fulfillment center workers, Amazon Store or data center employees. Jassy says their "passion, commitment, and continued dedication" is highly appreciated.

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