Amazon CEO Jeff Jassy announced on Friday that the e-commerce giant will require its employees to be in the office at least three days a week, effective May 1. The policy shift marks a marked change from the company’s approach to remote work.
“I know that for some employees, adjusting again to a new way of working will take some time,” Jassy said in the release. “But I’m very optimistic about the positive impact this will have in how we serve and invent on behalf of customers, as well as on the growth and success of our employees.”
Jassy said the S-Team, Amazon’s inner circle of executives, observed teams working remotely, hybrid schedules, and those that were fully in the office and determined that the more employees were physically together, the better it would be for Amazon’s business and culture.
“Collaborating and inventing is easier and more effective when we’re in person,” he said in a memo. “The energy and riffing on one another’s ideas happen more freely. In the more productive brainstorm sessions I’ve been a part of over the years, people get excited and blurt out new ideas or improvements to prior proposals, quickly advancing the seed of an idea, and leading to the broader group getting energized and feeling that it’s onto something.”
Jassy also noted that it’s easier to “learn, model, practice and strengthen our culture when we’re in the office together most of the time and surrounded by our colleagues.” He said teams tend to be more engaged in meetings and communicated better when working in person, and that some of the best inventions have had their breakthrough moments when people stayed behind in a meeting and worked through ideas on a whiteboard or walked back to an office together after a meeting.
Amazon will implement the change on May 1, with some exceptions, such as customer support roles, which have the option of working remotely. Amazon’s move may have ripple effects across the industry as other companies consider their policies.
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