Amazon has told managers to fire employees not coming to the office at least three times a week.
This reflects a broader trend among tech majors striving to reverse the remote work practices adopted during the pandemic.
Amazon’s decision has not been without opposition.
Approximately 30,000 employees signed a petition protesting the company’s requirement for them to be present in the workplace for at least three days a week.
Amazon is best known for its parcel delivery network and warehouses.
However, it employs thousands of specialized software engineers in its Amazon Web Services division.
The company told managers to take a strong stance with employees who were hesitant to return to the office.
An internal memo said: “If the employee does not demonstrate immediate and sustained attendance after the first conversation, managers should then conduct a follow-up discussion within a reasonable time frame (depending on the employee situation, ~1-2 weeks).
“This conversation will 1) reinforce that return to office 3+ days a week is a requirement of their job, and 2) explain that continued non-compliance without a legitimate reason may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of your employment.”
CEO Andy Jassy said in February: “Teams tend to be better connected to one another when they see each other in person more frequently.”
In August, He followed this up by telling staff: “It’s past the time to disagree and commit. And if you can’t disagree and commit, I also understand that, but it’s probably not going to work out for you at Amazon because we are going back to the office at least three days a week, and it’s not right for all of our teammates to be in three days a week and for people to refuse to do so.”
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Amazon originally announced its three-day office policy in February and implemented it starting May 1.
However, employee protests have continued in response to the policy.
The company also announced plans to cut 18,000 jobs as part of a global cost-cutting initiative following lower-than-expected financial results.
It resulted in a significant decrease in the company’s market value.
During the pandemic, remote work became prevalent for many tech workers.
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Other major tech companies, including Apple, Meta, and Google, have started programs to transition employees back to the office.
In contrast, Twitter’s owner, Elon Musk, publicly criticized remote work, deeming it “morally wrong,” and terminated the policy for his company’s staff earlier this year.
An Amazon spokesman said: “As is the case with any of our policies, we expect our team to follow them and will take appropriate action if someone chooses not to do that.”