Aug 29, 2023 - Economy

Amazon CEO says it's past time for employees to return to office

Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon, speaks at the New York Times DealBook Summit in November 2022. Photo: Thos Robinson/Getty Images for The New York Times

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy told employees "it's past the time to disagree and commit" to the return-to-office (RTO) mandate, according to a report released Monday from Insider that Axios confirmed.

The big picture: This is the latest internal event from Amazon surrounding the company's RTO policy, which was announced months ago and has sparked widespread employee pushback and protests.

Catch up quick: In February, Jassy had told employees they would be required to return to the office at least three days per week, according to an Amazon statement.

  • Roughly 30,000 Amazon employees signed a RTO petition in March, but Amazon's top HR executive Beth Galetti fully rejected the effort, Insider reported. 
  • Earlier this month, the CEO told employees the decision to return to the office was a judgement call, per Insider.

Driving the news: An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that Jassy told employees that one of the company's principles is "Have Backbone, Disagree and Commit," and everybody gets a chance to speak up.

  • "It's past the time to disagree and commit. And if you can't disagree and commit, I also understand that, but it's probably not going to work out for you at Amazon because we are going back to the office at least three days a week," Jassy said, per Insider.
  • He went on to say that "it's not right for all of our teammates to be in three days a week and for people to refuse to do so."
  • The company told Axios it never had data that remote work was going to work out.
  • Amazon said it regularly communicated its position that in-person work would evolve over time.

Zoom out: A recent Gallup survey found that only 28% of fully in-person employees strongly agreed they felt connected to their company's "mission and purpose," Axios' Ivana Saric reported.

Go deeper: Companies get aggressive on return-to-office

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