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Working from home vs in person working

Amazon managers can now fire employees refusing office returns

Amazon's commitment to the three-day on-site rule remains firm.

Content Insights

Amazon has already begun monitoring and taking action.
The company’s return-to-office mandate would be considered on a “case-by-case basis”.
Transition back to the office will yield “long-term benefits”.

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Managers to enforce three-day on-site policy

In a recent development, Amazon has granted its managers the power to take action against employees who are not in compliance with the company’s three-day on-site work policy, a move aimed at strengthening adherence to the policy.

Business Insider disclosed last week that Amazon has shared new global manager guidelines through its internal portal, outlining a three-step process for managers to ensure adherence to the rule.

The initial step involves engaging in a private conversation with employees who are not adhering to the company’s office return policy. Should non-compliance persist, the second step initiates follow-up discussions within a few weeks.

The guidelines state, “This conversation will 1) reinforce that returning to the office for at least three days a week is a requirement of their job, and 2) explain that continued non-compliance without a legitimate reason may lead to disciplinary action, including termination of employment,” as reported by Business Insider.

The final step of the process involves the intervention of a human resources representative who will issue a final written warning to the non-compliant employee, which could ultimately result in termination of their employment.

Non-compliance with remote work policy

Previous reports have indicated that Amazon has already begun monitoring and taking action against employees who do not adhere to the company’s remote work policy. This decision comes as many major employers seek to reinforce their office return policies in the face of significant resistance from their workforce.

Earlier this year, nearly 30,000 Amazon employees signed a petition opposing the company’s return-to-office mandate, a move that the company’s top HR official rejected. Corporate employees at Amazon also previously organized a walkout to protest the return-to-office policy.

“Managers are advised to “be prepared” by reviewing employees’ badge data and preparing their responses in advance.”

Despite these measures, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has remained resolute in the company’s commitment to enforcing the three-day on-site rule, stating, “If you can’t disagree and commit… 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,” in a previous message to employees.

Managers encouraged to promote understanding

While implementing the new regulation, Amazon still encourages its managers to emphasise their willingness to “understand” employees’ individual circumstances before inquiring about their reasons for not regularly coming to the office. Managers are advised to “be prepared” by reviewing employees’ badge data and preparing their responses in advance.

Amazon is also urging employers to “assume positive intent” and exercise sound judgment when making decisions regarding individual employee situations.

Rob Munoz, an Amazon spokesperson, informed Insider that exceptions to the company’s return-to-office mandate would be considered on a “case-by-case basis.” He added, “As is the case with any of our policies, we expect our team to follow them and will take appropriate action if someone chooses not to do that.”

Amazon has consistently emphasized that the transition back to the office will yield “long-term benefits,” ultimately enhancing the company’s ability to serve its customers, strengthen its corporate culture, and develop its employees.


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