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Amazon Has No Plan Requiring Workers to Return to Office

Amazon Has No Plan Requiring Workers to Return to Office

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has said the online retail juggernaut has no plan requiring its workers to come back into the office following the remote work model adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I don’t really believe that we’re going to end up coming back to the office,” Jassy said Wednesday at the Code 2022 conference in Los Angeles with host Kara Swisher.

While Jassy acknowledged that some things are more difficult while on video calls rather than in person, such as bonding as a team, he said most departments are continuing to work hybrid or remotely.

“At the end of the day, we have to deliver the right results for customers, and people understand whether they work remotely or in an office that that has to be the No. 1 priority. And so we’re trying lots of experiments, and we’ll see over the next year.”

By contrast, tech giants Apple, Google and Twitter earlier this year began requiring their workers to go back into offices at least several days a week.

Jassy also shared his thoughts on the health care industry and union efforts at Amazon warehouses on Wednesday.

About the company’s recent decision to shutter Amazon Care, Jassy reiterated Amazon’s stance that offering phone and in-home appointments wasn’t going to scale well as a business. Jassy added that said he thinks there’s still an opportunity for a service that provides home visits, but that the right business model still needs to be identified.

Amazon is shifting to a model that streamlines primary care services along with its Amazon Pharmacy service. The company recently agreed to buy One Medical, which offers brick-and-mortar as well as telehealth appointments. Jassy said the company’s model of allowing patients to book 30- or 60-minute appointments will prompt better care.

“I think if there’s ever a customer experience that needs reinvention, particularly in the US, it’s health care,” Jassy said.

After the interview, an audience member asked about Amazon’s efforts to convince workers not to unionize. Jassy noted Amazon has taken issue with the election process that led to the first union victory at a US Amazon warehouse in April.

The National Labor Relations Board appears poised to reject Amazon’s objections and certify the union, but Amazon could still refuse to bargain with the union and appeal through the federal court system. On Wednesday, Jassy indicated the company is ready to keep pushing its objections through the legal process.

“I think that’s going to take a long time to play out,” Jassy said Wednesday.