Andy Jassy says he will not pressure Amazon workers to return to the workplace

Andy Jassy, ​​Chief Executive Officer of Amazon.Com Inc., during the GeekWire Summit in Seattle, Washington, U.S. on Tuesday, October 5, 2021.

David Ryder | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said the company has no plans to order company employees to return to the office.

“We have no plan to ask people to come back,” Jassy said on stage at the Code conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday. “We’re not doing that at the moment. But we’ll be adaptive as we learn.”

Amazon tech workers were ordered to work from home in early 2020 as the coronavirus spread rapidly. In October, Jassy said Amazon would let individual managers decide how often employees need to come into the office, a sharp departure from its earlier goal of returning to an “office-centric culture.”

Jassy said most employees returned to physical offices on Wednesday and are working from home for a few days. Certain teams tend to be in the office more often, such as hardware or creative departments, while others, such as engineers, continue to work largely remotely, he added.

“I think there are some things that are more difficult to do remotely,” Jassy said. “I think it’s a little harder to invent from afar.”

Jassy has previously said the Covid-19 pandemic could have a lasting impact on how offices are used and noted that it has already impacted hiring at Amazon. For example, Amazon is now more open to remote work and will recruit employees from any location rather than just focusing on areas where it has “critical mass,” he said.

Amazon’s position on remote work differs from that of some of its tech peers. Google in April began requiring most employees to return to physical offices at least three days a week, prompting some backlash from workers who defy the mandate. Apple also asked some of its employees to come into the office three days a week starting this month.

CLOCK: Watch CNBC’s full interview with Amazon CEO Andy Jassy

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