Amazon may have bitten off more than it can chew with its recent return-to-office mandate, as offices around the country are reportedly ill-prepared to accommodate all those employees by the May deadline.
While studies have shown that remote work has been good for productivity, tech giants have been keen on getting their workers back in the office. Whether it's because of a fear of change or just commercial real estate prices, these firms have been insistent that remote work cannot continue as it did in the pandemic.
This rush to get employees back in the office appears to be backfiring a bit on Amazon, though, considering that returning to pre-pandemic form is going to take some time.
Return-to-Office Deadline Delayed at Amazon
In mid-February, Amazon put out a company blog post that established its return-to-office plans. The memo stated that all Amazon employees would need to be in the office at least three days a week, starting in May 2023.
“It’s not simple to bring many thousands of employees back to our offices around the world, so we’re going to give the teams that need to do that work some time to develop a plan.” – Andy Jassy, CEO at Amazon
“Not simple” is turning out to be a bit of an understatement, though, as an internal document obtained by Business Insider outlines the return-to-office dates for a number of Amazon offices that are far off from that initial deadline.
Offices in Atlanta and Tempe both list their readiness dates as July 1st, a full two months past the deadline, while the majority of office in New York, Austin, Cupertino, and East Palo Alto all list their readiness dates as September 1st, pushing the deadline from the start of summer to the start of fall.
The Return-to-Office Backlash
As you can imagine, employees haven't responded well to return-to-office plans, and not just at Amazon.
Tech companies across the industry have experienced some serious backlash in respond to their plans to dial back remote work and establish a more office-focused culture. Yes, many are offering hybrid options, but they still want employees in the office the majority of the time, which is rubbing some workers the wrong way.
Apple is the worst example, though, with employees pushing back substantially on return-to-office plans. The company has had to threaten action to get them back in the office, with some employees even joining Apple Together, a group of workers that are adamantly against restarting their commutes.
Should Your Company Get Rid of Remote Work?
If you've been following the news, you've likely noticed that a lot of big tech companies are trying desperately to get their employees back in the office. You might think that this means remote work is coming to an end. However, the reality is that the trend made popular during the pandemic is still going strong, for employees and employers alike.
For one, flexible schedules remain a top priority for quality talent, which means you'll be able to attract better employees with remote work. On top of that, performance boosted 22% when employees were allowed to work from home, so productivity will likely improve rather than suffer with a remote work policy.
While some big tech companies push to get their employees back in the office, there are plenty of other businesses expanding their remote and hybrid work policy. So don't let peer pressure from big tech get you down; remote work is here to stay.