Amazon Employees Sign Petition Against Return-To-Office Order

‘We ask Amazon leadership to uphold Amazon’s mission to be Earth’s Best Employer by creating working policies that increase equity and inclusion for all employees,’ says Amazon workers in a petition against the company’s new return-to-office mandate.


Thousands of Amazon employees have signed a petition against the company’s new return-to-office mandate for its workforce of 1.6 million employees, which goes into effect May 1.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy in a memo to employees Friday announced that employees, including its approximately 300,000 corporate workers, will need to work from Amazon offices at least three days per week starting in May.

“We, the undersigned, call for Amazon to protect its role and status as a global retail and tech leader by immediately cancelling the RTO [return-to-office] policy and issuing a new policy that allows employees to work remotely or more flexibly, if they choose to do so, as their team and job role permits,” said the petition signed by 5,000 employees according to CNBC.

Sponsored post

“We ask Amazon leadership to uphold Amazon’s mission to be Earth’s Best Employer by creating working policies that increase equity and inclusion for all employees.”

[Related: Amazon Vs. Microsoft Vs. Google: Cloud Earnings Faceoff]

An Amazon representative referred CRN to Jassy’s memo when asked about the matter. This is a major shift from Amazon’s last pandemic-era policy announced in late 2021, which allowed managers to decide how many times their teams needed to go into the office.

Andy Jassy: Why Return To Office Is Needed

The petition comes just days after Jassy’s memo outlining his executive team’s new hybrid work policy decision to force nearly all Amazon employees to work from the office at least three days each week.

“It’s easier to learn, model, practice, and strengthen our culture when we’re in the office together most of the time and surrounded by our colleagues,” said Jassy. “When you’re in-person, people tend to be more engaged, observant, and attuned to what’s happening in the meetings and the cultural clues being communicated.”

There will be some Amazon employees who will be granted exemptions from the mandate, but it will be “a small minority” in the new policy.

Another key reason Jassy cited as to why Amazon will be mandating employees to work from the office is that it boosts collaborating and inventing. “In the more productive brainstorm sessions I’ve been a part of over the years, people get excited and blurt out new ideas or improvements to prior proposals, quickly advancing the seed of an idea, and leading to the broader group getting energized and feeling that it’s on to something,” he said.

Why Amazon Employees Are Against Returning To The Office

A group of Amazon workers created a Slack channel following Jassy’s return-to-office mandate. The group now has over 16,000 members.

“Let’s prove that you do not have to be in-person to do good work!” said a description of the Slack channel, according to a report by Business Insider.

There are several reasons highlighted by employees against returning to the office, including remote work increasing worker productivity.

Amazon employees also said remote work allows for better hiring and developing, saves money for employees and Amazon itself, and improves employee’s work-life balance.

Jassy said he didn’t expect the transition to return to work to be “perfect at first.”

“I know that for some employees, adjusting again to a new way of working will take some time. But I’m very optimistic about the positive impact this will have in how we serve and invent on behalf of customers, as well as on the growth and success of our employees,” Amazon’s CEO said.

Amazon Layoffs And Earnings

The move to mandate employees to return to the office comes just one month after Amazon said it would lay off 18,000 employees.

CRN learned that Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company’s popular cloud computing business, would not be significantly impacted by the layoffs at Amazon.

This month, Amazon reported sales of nearly $150 billion during the fourth quarter of 2022, an increase of 9 percent year over year. However, net income decreased to $300 million year over year compared with $14.3 billion in fourth-quarter 2021.

AWS generated $21.4 billion in revenue during the fourth quarter, representing a 20 percent increase in sales year over year. Operating income for AWS was $5.2 billion.