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Return to office or lose your promotion, Amazon says

Tech giant Amazon will block promotions for workers who refuse to work in the office three days a week, according to leaked emails.

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30,000 Amazon employees expressed their dissent through a petition.
Amazon’s in-office mandates are not uncommon.
Roles benefit from in-office time, many jobs today can be successfully executed remotely.

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An internal email shared with Business Insider underscores Amazon’s approach to promotions, placing the responsibility on managers to facilitate employee growth through regular discussions and challenging assignments. Additionally, the email outlines a requirement for roles expecting in-office presence to comply with a three-plus days a week policy, with non-compliance necessitating VP approval.

Despite the announcement of the return-to-office mandate in February, 30,000 Amazon employees expressed their dissent through a petition. However, the e-commerce giant rejected the petition, revealing potential communication gaps between leadership and staff.

Blocking promotions for remote workers could lead to talent loss and exclude individuals

Niki Fuchs, CEO of Office Space in Town, believes that while Amazon’s in-office mandates are not uncommon, the controversy lies in how these policies are wielded as bargaining tools. She emphasises the importance of striking a balance between directives and common purpose to address the impact on culture, productivity, and staff retention.

Jess Lancashire, founder of From Another, a flexible work consultancy, criticises the one-size-fits-all approach, stating that such blanket policies are ineffective and unfair. Lancashire argues that while some roles benefit from in-office time, many jobs today can be successfully executed remotely. Blocking promotions for remote workers could lead to talent loss and exclude individuals, such as working parents, who require flexibility in their work arrangements. Lancashire encourages forward-thinking companies to motivate talent through more creative means rather than mandating fixed office days.”

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