With the pandemic easing, returning to the office isn’t so cool for some who have settled into working from home.
Last week, more than 2,300 Disney employees filed a petition against CEO Bob Iger’s demand that employees return to the office for a Monday-Thursday work week, beginning March 1. Today, CNBC reports that a similar revolt is unfolding at Amazon where several employees have opposed CEO Andy Jassy’s demand that employees return to three days a week starting May 1.
When Deadline contacted an Amazon rep about the situation, they referred us to Jassy’s Friday memo to staff.
Jassy said at the time: “It’s not easy to bring several thousand employees back to our offices around the world, so we’re going to give the teams who have to do this work some time to come up with a plan. We know it won’t be perfect at first, but the office experience will steadily improve over the months (and years) to come as our real estate and facilities teams iron out the wrinkles and ultimately continue to do evolving the way we want our offices set up to capture the new ways we want to work. I know people will have questions about how this change will be implemented. We’ll be finalizing those details in the coming weeks, so please check Inside Amazon for those updates.
“We, the undersigned, call on Amazon to protect its role and status as a global retail and technology leader by immediately rescinding the RTO policy and issuing a new policy that allows employees to work remotely or more flexible, if they choose to do so, to the extent that their team and role allow,” according to a draft of the petition, which was reported by Business Insider.
The petition included statistics showing how remote work is better for productivity, reduces expenses and attracts top talent. The concern was how an in-person return would impact those parents, minorities, carers and people with disabilities.
Jassy and Iger share similar views on returning to the office. For the former, his memo details how working together makes it easier “to learn, model, practice, and reinforce our culture” and “collaborating and inventing is easier and more effective when we’re in person.”
Iger noted in his Jan. 9 note, “In a creative enterprise like ours, nothing can replace the ability to connect, observe, and create with peers that comes from being physically together, nor the ability to grow professionally by learning from leaders and mentors. . I am convinced that working together more in person will benefit the creativity, the company culture and the careers of our employees. »
The Washington Post first reported that those asking for a return to the office at Disney came from divisions such as ABC, 20th Century Studios, Marvel Studios, Hulu, Pixar and FX. Those who prefer to work remotely at the Mouse House argued that productivity would be negatively affected, along with efficiency and production. They also believed that returning in person would lead to resource shortages and resignations.
Amazon employees are upset by Jassy’s previous statements for a hybrid workplace touting that one size doesn’t fit all. According to reports, the affected Amazon employees are those hired to work remotely outside of the main shopping/streamer hubs of Seattle, New York and Northern California.
“Of course, as there were pre-pandemic, there will always be certain roles (e.g. some of our sales people, customer support, etc.) and exceptions to these expectations, but that will be a small minority,” said Jassy said.
Deadline contacted Disney who provided no comment on the return to work petition.