Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) expects its office workers to be back in the office by fall, but not everyone is happy about it. Some workers say they might even leave the company if they have to go into the office five days a week. However, nearby businesses are looking forward to the extra business they will get as a result of the offices opening back up.
Amazon workers set to return to the office
Amazon announced to workers that it's planning a "return to an office-centric culture as our baseline." The move away from remote work is expected to be completed by the fall. The announcement added that working in offices "enables us to invent, collaborate and learn together most effectively."
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The Seattle Times reports that Amazon had previously planned on having employees back in the office by June 30. However, there were still questions about whether the online retailer, Washington's biggest employer, would allow some of its 60,000 office workers in the Seattle area to keep working from home part-time.
Executives at Amazon tout a company culture of in-person collaboration in "two-pizza teams," or groups small enough to be fed with two pizzas. Andy Jassy, the online retailer's next CEO, spoke negatively about remote work last year in an interview with CNBC. He said that working from home during the pandemic made it difficult to "riff the same way" with co-workers on new ideas.
Amazon employees unhappy, businesses ecstatic
According to The Seattle Times, reactions among Amazon workers is mixed, and some even said they would start looking for other jobs if the company forces them to return to the office five days a week.
However, a number of business owners in downtown Seattle were excited about Amazon workers returning to the office. They say having the company's employees back in the office will help drive an economic recovery from the pandemic.
Amazon's plan to return to the office differs from the plans of other major technology companies. Alphabet and Microsoft said they are planning to move to a hybrid office model that allows employees to work from home part-time.
Starting in September, Google employees will be expected to be in the office three days a week, while Microsoft plans to "give employees further flexibility, allowing people to work where they feel most productive and comfortable." Zillow said last year it would allow its more than 5,000 workers across the country to work from home permanently, and Salesforce announced a similar plan.
Amazon is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders' families.