Amazon said Monday it will allow many tech and corporate workers to work remotely indefinitely, as long as they can commute to the office when needed.
Announced in a blog post, the new policy is a departure from Amazon’s earlier expectation that most employees will have to be in the office at least three days a week when offices reopen in January following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Seattle Times reported that Monday’s message was signed by Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, saying that the company’s directors will have teams at their discretion that will manage to continue working remotely.
“We anticipate that there will be teams that will continue to work mostly remotely, others that will work in a combination of remote and in the office, and still others that will decide that customers are best served when the team mainly works in the office, ”wrote Jassy.
Most of the online retail giant’s more than 1 million employees worldwide cannot work remotely as they perform their duties in the company’s fulfillment and transportation departments, taking orders and delivering to customers.
But about 50,000 tech and office workers work at the company’s sprawling headquarters in downtown Seattle and the South Lake Union neighborhood. Their absence will harm nearby restaurants and other shops.
Amazon’s update to its return to work policy followed similar steps taken by other large tech companies. Last month, Microsoft announced that it had indefinitely postponed the reopening of its offices.
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