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Amazon Pushes for Office Returns: Employees Face Relocation or Resignation




In a new development concerning its return-to-office policy, Amazon is urging certain employees to relocate, thus enabling closer, in-person collaboration within their teams. As part of its strategy to promote office-based work, Amazon is focusing on having its workforce clustered around the company’s main hubs, notably in larger cities like Seattle, New York, and San Francisco. Decisions about who will need to relocate are reportedly made at the department level, and the exact number of affected employees is not clear yet. However, some workers face a straightforward choice: relocate or resign. Amazon, on its part, has stated that there is a process for requesting exceptions, which will be examined on a case-by-case basis. Moreover, relocation benefits will be offered to the employees asked to move.

Impact of Amazon’s Return-to-Office Policy

The return-to-office policy was implemented on May 1, with employees required to work in offices at least three days per week. This decision led to an organized walkout by some Amazon employees on May 31. Nevertheless, the policy has been hailed by community leaders in Seattle as a significant boon for the city’s downtown area. Backing this stance, Amazon recently released data illustrating the economic benefits of its return-to-office policy in the region surrounding its Seattle headquarters. Amazon spokesperson Brad Glasser highlighted the positive impacts, saying, “There are more energy, collaboration, and connections happening since we’ve been working together at least three days per week, and we’ve heard this from lots of employees and the businesses that surround our offices.” Glasser added that the tech giant is exploring ways to bring more teams together in the same locations and will communicate directly with employees concerning decisions that affect them.

CEO’s Perspective on the New Policy

In a memo on February 17, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy acknowledged the adjustment challenges some employees might face with the new way of working but emphasized the benefits of in-person collaboration. Jassy stated, “Of course, as there were before the pandemic, there will still be certain roles (e.g. some of our salespeople, customer support, etc.) and exceptions to these expectations, but that will be a small minority.” The CEO justified the return-to-office decision, saying it was made after closely observing staff performance during the pandemic and engaging with leaders at other companies. The consensus was that employees tend to be more engaged and collaborate more effectively in person.

Key Highlights:

  • Amazon is promoting a return-to-office policy, asking certain employees to relocate to ensure in-person collaboration.
  • Decisions regarding relocation are being made at the department level, with affected employees receiving relocation benefits.
  • Implemented on May 1, the policy requires employees to be in offices at least three days a week. The policy sparked a protest by some employees in late May.
  • CEO Andy Jassy acknowledged the challenges of adjusting to the new work approach but underlined the benefits of in-person collaboration.

For more information on Amazon’s policies and their impacts, visit the official Amazon website.


Amazon’s relocation policy for certain employees marks a significant step in the company’s push for a return to office-based work. While the policy has drawn mixed reactions from the workforce, it has also highlighted the potential for office-based work to stimulate local economies. As companies worldwide navigate the post-pandemic landscape, Amazon’s approach offers an important case study in balancing employee flexibility with the benefits of in-person collaboration and economic impact.