Amazon became one of the huge “work from home” American companies during the COVID-19 pandemic. The e-commerce and cloud giant wants those workers to return to their home base. Management insists employees come back for at least three days a week. That will result in a tug of war, as it has at many other companies.
Andy Jassey, Amazon’s besieged CEO, sent a memo to workers. He said, “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.”
Jassey admitted that the decision would be difficult for some workers. That is an understatement. As is true with thousands of companies, Some Amazon workers moved far from their offices to places they believe have a better style of living or locations close to families. Moving back will be more than a hardship. People will need to sell homes and take children out of schools. They must say goodbye to neighbors, friends, and sometimes families.
It is too early to say how many people will refuse the order. Then, Amazon will need to make a decision. Will these people be added to the 18,000 workers Amazon has already fired? Or, if they have jobs critical to Amazon’s operations, will they try to bargain with their superiors about their work future?
And bargaining will happen, particularly for those who can bargain. According to many studies, workers have leverage because they can find jobs elsewhere. Amazon will need to scramble to find replacements and will be unable to in some cases.
The conundrum gets worse for Amazon because workers who see other workers who can stay at home will start a tug of war. If one worker can work from home, why can’t others?
Jassey has issued an edict. Sometimes, it will be hard to enforce.
These are the tech companies laying off the most people this year.
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