Amazon reverses course, joins other Seattle tech companies in expanding work-from-home options

Jun 10, 2021, 11:51 AM

amazon tax...

Amazon's downtown Seattle headquarters. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

In late March, Amazon announced that unlike other Seattle tech companies, it planned to return to an “office-centric” approach post-pandemic. The company has now reversed course, though, announcing Thursday that it will be offering flexible work-from-home options for its employees moving forward.

Microsoft the latest Puget Sound company to bring workers back

According to an internal memo sent to employees, the company’s “new baseline” will be three days a week in the office, with the option for two work-from-home days each week. Specific days will vary team to team.

Amazon employees who wish to come into the office fewer than three days a week will also be allowed to apply for an exception, which would allow them to “be considered primarily a remote worker.” Those approved for an exception won’t have a dedicated desk in the office, and will instead use an “agile workspace that provides space to collaborate” for days they work in-person.

Explaining the decision to shift away from its initial “office-centric” plan, Amazon noted that its “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 new flexible work schedule will take effect the week of Sept. 7 for employees in the United States, United Kingdom, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. That said, the company also points out that “most of our offices are open, and employees are gradually returning in many locations.”

Facebook first major company to bring Seattle workers back to offices

Other tech companies with large presences in Seattle have already announced similar plans to have workers return to more flexible work-from-home models at the conclusion of the pandemic.

That includes Microsoft, which announced in mid-March that it would be committing to a “hybrid workplace” even after returning some of of its employees to offices in mid-2021. Similarly, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in January that longer-tenured workers would be able to request permanent work-from-home status, while acknowledging that he expects half of the company’s workers to be remote within the next five to 10 years.

Additionally, Zillow indicated last July that it would be allowing all of its employees to remain in a work-from-home model full-time.

MyNorthwest News

Image: Student Jaahnavi Kandula...

Steve Coogan

Prosecutors will not charge Seattle officer in death of Jaahnavi Kandula

King County prosecutors said Wednesday it will not be charging Seattle Police Department Officer Kevin Dave in the death of Jaahnavi Kandula.

11 minutes ago

Image: Police detectives in Tacoma are asking for the public's help to identify the suspect respons...

Steve Coogan and Bill Kaczaraba, MyNorthwest

Woman stabbed in Point Defiance crime: ‘I can’t believe I survived’

On Feb. 10, the victim was walking at Point Defiance Park when was attacked by an unknown man, the Tacoma Police Department reported.

20 minutes ago

ufo, uap...

Micki Gamez

Washington continues to be a UFO hot spot

Seattle has become a hot spot for UFO sightings, with 86.5 sightings per 100,000 residents annually between 2000 and 2023.

40 minutes ago

The logo for Boeing appears on a screen above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exc...

Associated Press

Boeing ousts head of 737 jetliner program weeks after panel blowout on flight

Boeing said the head of its 737 program is leaving the company in an executive shake-up weeks after a door panel blew out on a flight over Oregon.

52 minutes ago

Image: A man went into Winnie's Coffee and Deli on Rainier Avenue South on Feb. 8 and stole $1,300 ...

Sam Campbell

Scammer steals $1,300 from Skyway shop using fraudulent refunds

A coffee shop owner is warning other area businesses after she said a man scammed her out of $1,300 through a fraudulent refund scheme.

2 hours ago

Image: A coyote runs on the fourth fairway during the CPKC Women's Open at Shaughnessy Golf and Cou...

Louie Tran, KIRO 7 News

‘It’s made me really scared:’ Mountlake Terrace dog attacked by coyote, pets missing

A Mountlake Terrace family is warning other pet owners after their dog was attacked by a coyote. Now missing pet signs are appearing in their neighborhood.

4 hours ago

Amazon reverses course, joins other Seattle tech companies in expanding work-from-home options