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Amazon Says Come on Back to Employees

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy emailed corporate and tech employees to let them know the company expects them to return to the office. Beginning May 1, 2023, Amazon wants employees back at least three days a week. This new policy reverses a previous policy allowing individual teams to decide whether they worked in person or remotely.

Jassy says Amazon leadership believes it is easier to strengthen Amazon's culture, collaborate on ideas, and learn from others in person. Salespeople and customer service roles will be exceptions to the new rule. Jassy considers them a small minority. The May 1st deadline will allow offices and teams to plan how to make the shift. In his post, Jassy wrote, “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.” The decision comes after the company laid off about 5% of its employees, equal to about 18,000 employees over the last couple of months.

As a reminder, Amazon joins Apple and Starbucks in making similar in-person requirements. Walmart requires its tech staff to be in twice a week. Disney wants its employees in four days a week starting next month. Other companies continue to allow remote work, including Zillow, Dropbox, Coinbase, and Slack.