The company had previously been more diligent about in-person work, citing the importance of office culture.
However, Amazon has slightly relaxed its policy, informing corporate employees they can work remotely for up to four weeks each year as long as they are working from within the U.S. Additionally, workers will have the ability to apply for exemptions from in-person work.
“Our thinking is predicated on what we believe will be most beneficial for customers, while also trying to give employees more flexibility in their work environment and lives,” the blog post from this week reads. “For employees who were mostly remote pre-COVID, such as some Sales and Customer Service roles, they will remain working remote. For employees in roles which require onsite work, such as hardware engineers and frontline operations, these individuals will continue to work onsite.”
As far as vaccination policies, an Amazon representative said that it will strongly encourage employees and contractors to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Companies Walking Back On Office Reduction Plans
CBRE’s Spring 2021 Occupier Survey found that only 9% of companies are planning to significantly cut down on their office portfolio, a huge dip from last year’s figures of 39%.
Even more, 85% of the 185 surveyed companies anticipate employees to spend at least half of their time in the office.
Additionally, 72% of large companies are planning for “modest” office space reductions, an increase from the 45% that said the same thing during CBRE’s September 2020 survey. In comparison, smaller companies are expected to maintain their portfolio or even grow it.
“Multiple factors support this sentiment, including the ongoing rebound of the US economy and companies’ realization that they need to retain more office space than they previously thought,” said Julie Whelan, CBRE Global head of Occupier Research. “Many companies now recasting the design and function of their offices will find that the square footage needed to accommodate team-centric work, free-address seating and meeting space often exceeds that previously dedicated to rows of individual offices and cubicles.”
However, remote working will still play a role in the future of the workforce. The survey found that 38% of companies believe employees will spend three or more days in the office, while 32% expect a blend of in-office and remote work.
Aayat is an editor for the Daily Digest based in Lexington, Kentucky. She has worked with local coworking spaces since August of 2017 and enjoys taking her firsthand knowledge to write about the fascinating, constantly evolving world of flexible workspaces.