Amazon is calling workers back to the office for at least three days per week.
CEO Andy Jassy said in a memo to employees the retail giant studied the work-from-home model started at the outset of the pandemic in 2020 and concluded employees are more productive when they interact in person.
“Because the pandemic lasted as long as it did, we were able to observe various models — some teams working exclusively from home, some in the office full-time together, and many flavors of hybrid — over a meaningful period of time,” Jassy wrote.
Amazon found “it’s easier to learn, model, practice, and strengthen our culture when we’re in the office together most of the time,” according to that internal memo made public Friday afternoon.
Jassy said that’s especially true for new hires, of which there have been many over the past three years. Amazon’s researchers concluded teaching is easier in person.
“This apprenticeship and learning model has been the primary reason a lot of companies who’ve returned to the office have done so,” the CEO said.
The new plan goes into effect May 1. Jassy said the details of how the plan will be executed were being discussed.
“I know that for some employees, adjusting again to a new way of working will take some time,” he concluded. “But I’m very optimistic about the positive impact this will have in how we serve and invent on behalf of customers, as well as on the growth and success of our employees.”
Disney told employees they would be returning to their offices four days a week “in a hybrid fashion,” starting in March, according to Insider. Starbucks sent a memo to corporate workers in January telling everyone within commuting distance to come back to their offices at least three days a week. Apple and Citigroup implemented plans to bring workers back on a limited basis in 2022.
The pandemic was a shot in the arm for Amazon. The Seattle-based company’s reported profits more than tripled in the first quarter of 2021. It added 430,000 jobs to keep up with demand. Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ worth jumped from $113 billion in March 2020 to $192 Billion in October of that year, according to Forbes. He was the richest man in the world. He’s now a distant third on that list.
Speaking at a September conference in Los Angeles, Jassy said there was no plan to bring Amazon employees back to their offices, but the company would “proceed adaptively as we learn.”