Amazon employees are furious over CEO Andy Jassy’s recent decision to implement a return to office mandate (RTO) and have reportedly made their feelings known publicly.
Jassy explained that employees are more likely to collaborate better in person, and that ad hoc conversations and learning don’t happen as effectively over the internet as they do in real life.
However, after its announcement, a Slack channel was created where employees could share their dissatisfaction, gathering almost 14,000 users so far (via CNBC (opens in a new tab)), and another petition is also reportedly circulating around the company.
Prior to the announcement, the company’s most recent decision was more than a year old and allowed managers and teams to choose the most appropriate method of working for their own areas and needs.
According to Business informant (opens in a new tab)in an informal poll conducted on the Slack channel, approximately 80% of members said they would consider finding alternative employment if forced to return to the office.
A petition has since been created calling on Jassy and members of the senior management team to reconsider the move, highlighting several key areas of concern.
It is seeing an increase in employee productivity while working remotely, as confirmed by an internal survey last year which found that 93% of employees were able to concentrate well at home, compared to 68% in the office.
Employees also prefer to be able to choose their location and whether they go to the office on certain days, as well as a better work-life balance that comes with added flexibility.
Disgruntled employees also reminded Amazon of its ability to save money by reducing expenses related to office costs, as well as its own travel savings. They expressed the benefit to Amazon in the form hybrid workwhich allows the company to hire a wider spectrum of people and ultimately select the best and most talented employees.
Finally, they argue that office work is bad for parents, minorities and people with disabilities.
An excerpt from the petition (via Business Insider) reads:
“We ask Amazon leadership to uphold Amazon’s mission to be the best employer on earth by creating work policies that enhance equality and inclusion for all employees.”
While Big Tech is beginning to backtrack on its decision to allow work from home, including Google and Apple, it’s clear that the future of the work setup will still be challenging as we recover from the multiple impacts of the pandemic.