Amazon.com Inc. is allowing many technology and corporate employees to continue working remotely indefinitely, as long as they can commute to the office when necessary.
The new policy was announced in a blog post earlier this week. It’s a marked change from Amazon’s previous expectation that most employees would need to be in the office at least three days a week when its offices reopen in January after almost two years of employees working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re intentionally not prescribing how many days or which days — this is for directors to determine with their senior leaders and teams,” said Andy Jassy, chief executive officer at Amazon, in the post. “At this stage, 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.”
Most of Amazon’s more than one million employees worldwide can’t work remotely because they’re in the company’s fulfillment and transportation division. However, about 50,000 technology and office employees in Seattle work at the company’s campus headquarters.
Several other U.S.-headquartered employers, including Apple Inc., Google, Starbucks Corp. and Uber Technologies Inc., have also altered return-to-office plans amid the rise of the Delta variant and stagnant vaccination rates.
“At a company of our size, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for how every team works best. . . . We’re going to be in a stage of experimenting, learning and adjusting for a while as we emerge from this pandemic,” said Jassy.