Amazon relaxes return-to-work plans, will let employees work remotely two days a week – CNBC


The exterior of The Spheres are seen at the Amazon.com Inc. headquarters on May 20, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. Five women employees sued Amazon this week, alleging discrimination and retaliation.

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Amazon is giving its corporate employees greater flexibility to work remotely, the company said Thursday, in a significant U-turn from its earlier return-to-work guidance.

In an internal memo sent to employees, Amazon said it expects employees to work in the office three days a week, leaving them the option to work remotely up to two days a week. Leadership teams will determine what days employees will be required to work from the office, the company said.

Geekwire previously reported on Amazon’s memo on the company’s return-to-work plans.

Corporate employees who don’t want to work in the office three days per week will be able to apply for an exception. Additionally, some employees will have the option to work fully remotely up to four weeks out of the year.

Amazon had previously taken a more strict approach to its return-to-work plans. In March, Amazon emphasized that its goal was to “return to an office-centric culture as our baseline.” At the time, the company said it expects some employees to return to the office this summer, with most of its staff back at the office by the fall.

Amazon said in the memo that it’s “learning and evolving as we go” and would “continue to evolve” as it receives feedback from employees on the updated guidance.

“Like all companies and organizations around the world, we’re managing every stage of this pandemic for the first time, learning and evolving as we go,” Amazon said in the memo. “We’ve been thinking about how to balance our desire to provide flexibility to work from home with our belief that we invent best for customers when we are together in the office.”

Other tech companies have taken a similar approach in their return-to-work plans. Last week, Apple said employees will return to the office three days a week beginning in early September. In May, Google said it expects 20% of its employees to work from home after its offices reopen later this year.