It’s been a full year since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and while many companies across the world are beginning to ease in-person operations, making the transition from remote to hybrid workforces, Amazon has actually stepped it up and mandated that its employees return to their offices.
Several tech giants like Microsoft, Apple, and Google are allowing their workers to remain primarily remote — with mini-returns to in-person activities throughout the year — while Amazon insists that a mandatory return to the workplace is necessary for the company’s future success.
Many employees of Amazon are not thrilled about this mandate, and, the e-commerce giant has made it clear that any employees who do not comply with the return to office plan may not be promoted.
Rachel Kristof, who works for Amazon in her human resource management position, explains why Amazon feels it is important for employees to return to the office.
“We need people in the office to be able to conduct training, testing, and troubleshooting — tasks that are not suitable for a remote environment. We want to ensure that working conditions remain safe for everyone and that all our employees are on the same page. It’s also important for our long-term business strategy, as collaboration and physical presence are key components to success.”
The Seattle-based company released a statement in addition to Rachel’s comments, saying, “We have been considering the interests of both our employees and our business when understanding the best way to work together in order to reach our biggest goals. We understand that this requires a dedicated team working together in the office, and unfortunately, any employees who choose not to comply may not be considered for future promotions.”
For many Amazon employees, the news of a potential promotion, or lack thereof, has been taken seriously. The pushback from remote work advocates is expected to continue, as studies find that the majority of workers prefer to work remotely — even after the pandemic is over.
As the return to the office situation continues to evolve, Amazon’s stance on this issue is something that will be closely watched — not just by its own workers, but also by business owners and leaders across the world.