SEATTLE (AP) – Amazon said Monday that it will allow many tech and corporate workers to go to the office and work remotely if needed.
The new policy was announced in a blog post and changed that from Amazon’s previous expectation that most employees should be in the office at least three days a week when the COVID-19 pandemic reopens in January.
The Seattle Times reported that Monday’s message was signed by Amazon CEO Andy Jassi and that the company’s directors had the right to allow their groups to continue working remotely.
“We basically expect teams to continue to work remotely, with others working remotely and in a combination in the office, while others decide that clients should work in a team primarily in the office,” Jassi writes.
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Most of the Internet retail giant’s more than 1 million global employees cannot work remotely because they perform their duties in the company’s execution and transportation department, accepting orders and delivering them to customers.
But about 50,000 technology and office workers work at the company’s Seattle headquarters and the city’s South Lake Union neighborhood. Their absence will damage nearby restaurants and other businesses.
The update to Amazon’s return policy came after similar actions by other major tech companies. Microsoft announced last month that it had postponed the reopening of its offices indefinitely.