Amazon told employees Tuesday in a companywide announcement that it is planning a “return to an office-centric culture as our baseline,” signaling that the Seattle-based commerce giant is not planning to embrace a hybrid workplace.
The transition away from remote work is expected to wrap up by autumn, the note said. Working in offices, the note said, “enables us to invent, collaborate, and learn together most effectively.”
Amazon had previously given its return-to-office date as June 30, but questions remained as to whether the company would allow some of its 60,000 Seattle-area office employees to continue working from home part time.
It had seemed unlikely Amazon would allow employees to stay away from the office permanently. The company has a culture of in-person collaboration within “two-pizza teams” — groups small enough to be fed with two pizzas.
Other companies, including Zillow and Microsoft, have said the experience of working remotely during the pandemic had convinced them that employees did not need to be in the office full time in order to work effectively.
Seattle-based Zillow announced last summer that it will give its roughly 5,400 employees nationwide the option to work remotely for good.
In a blog post last week announcing the reopening of Microsoft’s Redmond campus, executive vice president Kurt DelBene wrote that the company’s “goal is to give employees further flexibility, allowing people to work where they feel most productive and comfortable, while also encouraging employees to work from home as the virus and related variants remain concerning.”
Amazon will not require office workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine before they head back to their desks, but the company is encouraging employees and contractors to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible, according to Amazon spokesperson Jose Negrete.
This is a developing story and will be updated.