Amazon, which had communicated on March 31 its intent to “return to an office-centric culture as our baseline” for its corporate employees, backtracked on that stance in an internal memo that was disseminated on June 10, now saying that it is willing to incorporate a hybrid approach instead.
That baseline has changed to having most corporate employees work in the office three days a week and remotely the other two.
The memo elaborated, stating that the company has “what we believe will be most beneficial for customers” at the forefront of its decision-making process while balancing that with allowing its employees to have “more flexibility in their work environment and lives.”
Also mentioned was that most of these employees will be able to work remotely for four complete weeks every year as long as they remain in the United States while doing so.
After Amazon had announced its original plans for a return to an office-based culture, several other organizations in the market for their employees, such as Twitter, promoted their offering of hybrid or fully remote work, the latter of which is likely still an attractant for many of them.
Meanwhile, companies such as Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft have gone public with plans to at a minimum provide a hybrid working environment for many of their employees.
The expected timeline for a return to the office for a notable number of Amazon employees is early July with a considerable majority of them settled into regular in-office work by the start of September.
One of the things that has resulted from remote work becoming more popular is an increasing number of people living away from major cities. For example, many Amazon corporate employees who work out of its headquarters in Seattle are moving or considering making a move to cities such as Olympia and Bellingham, Wash., places that are too far away to make a five-days-a-week commute from.
The demand for and prices of office space in downtown areas of major cities have also stagnated since the COVID-19 pandemic started and many started embarking on virtual work with an eye towards making those moves permanent.