Amazon has updated its guidance for employees, telling them they will be able to continue working remotely.
Amazon has been working to adapt to the pandemic-fueled shift to remote work. Like many others, the company has changed its guidance as the pandemic has continued, exploring different possibilities for a “new normal.”
In CEO Andy Jassy’s latest email to staff, Jassy acknowledges the company has changed direction a couple of times.
We’ve shared a couple of updates on this topic, first thinking we’d be back in the office in September 2021, and then by January 2022, with the suggestion that we should all try to be in the office at least three days a week. This guidance prompted questions, like, “Who decides which days, does the team need to be in the same days, are there certain functions or teams that can work more effectively at home vs the office (and vice versa),” and many more. We met several times as a leadership team to discuss these questions, and generally agreed on three things.
Ultimately, leadership decided no one knows the answers to those questions at this stage, there is no one-size-fits-all solution and the company will need to keep experimenting to find how to best navigate the current situation. As a result, Amazon is changing its focus.
Instead of prescribing a set amount of days to be in the office, the company will leave the decision to individual teams. The main focus will be on serving customers, and making sure their needs are being met.
Jassy said the company wants most “people close enough to their core team that they can easily travel to the office for a meeting within a day’s notice.” At the same time, Jassy said the company wants to continue supporting individuals that want to work remotely for a few weeks in a different location, voicing support for the importance of recharging from time to time.
We want to support this flexibility and will continue to offer those corporate employees, who can work effectively away from the office, the option to work up to four weeks per year fully remote from any location within your country of employment.
In many ways, Amazon is taking a similar stand as Microsoft, no longer placing a time limit on when things will get back to normal and adopting an approach that focuses on adapting to the current reality.
As mentioned earlier, these are unusual times and we’re all learning together what we believe is the best way to work together to make customers’ lives easier and better every day. And with it being so early in our mission, with lots of invention and change in front of us, you can bet that we will continue to adjust as we keep learning what makes most sense for our customers and teams.