Amazon CEO Andy Jassy told employees to get on board with the company’s return-to-office plan or to consider employment elsewhere, the company confirmed to CNN, after a report by Insider highlighted Jassy’s remarks from a recent internal event.
Jassy’s message reflects Amazon’s continued pressure on US office staff to comply with a policy requiring them to report to a physical office at least three days a week.
As part of his remarks, which Amazon shared with CNN, Jassy said during the event this month that while employees are entitled to disagree with the company’s decision bringing workers back into the office and to criticize it, they are not entitled to disregard the policy.
He also predicted that for those who could not accept the policy, their prospects for remaining at Amazon appeared grim.
Some people posting to message boards on site likes Reddit and Blind in recent weeks discuss legal rights for employees who say they were hired 12 months earlier as a virtual employee and whether they can be forced to work in an office.
Earlier, Insider reported that a recording of the session depicted Jassy telling recalcitrant employees: “It’s probably not going to work out for you.” Insider also reported that employees at the internal meeting asked Jassy to produce the internal data justifying the policy.
According to the remarks Amazon shared with CNN, Jassy responded by saying that the return-to-office policy was more the result of a judgment call based on an assessment of various factors including business results. He added that Amazon had little data to support a policy of indefinite remote work, and that Amazon had to make judgment calls based on limited data in the past.
The remarks also showed that Insider accurately reported Jassy’s predictions regarding employees who do not comply with the return-to-office mandate. (CNN was permitted to paraphrase, but not directly quote from, Jassy’s remarks.)
Separately, the company told CNN that Amazon had all along emphasized that its approach to remote work would evolve along with pandemic conditions.
Earlier this month, Amazon sent some employees an email indicating that the company knew they were not badging into the office as often as required.
Amazon’s signal to workers that it is tracking their attendance comes after hundreds of its corporate employees staged a walkout in May to protest the office policy. At the time, organizers of the walkout said more than 1,000 employees had participated in the event; Amazon disputed that figure, claiming that only 300 were involved. Organizers of the walkout have called the company’s approach a “rigid, one-size-fits-all” mandate.