After three years since the pandemic began, Amazon has officially announced their return-to-office plan --- this new policy will take effect on May 1. According to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy's announcement, they will plan to bring staff back to office at least three days a week.
Amazon's memo includes a few reasons why they plan to shift to a mandated in-person work plan:
Collaborating and inventing is easier and more effective when we’re in person. The energy and riffing on one another’s ideas happen more freely.
Learning from one another is easier in-person. Being able to walk a few feet to somebody’s space and ask them how to do something or how they’ve handled a particular situation is much easier than Chiming or Slacking them.
Teams tend to be better connected to one another when they see each other in person more frequently. There is something about being face-to-face with somebody, looking them in the eye, and seeing they’re fully immersed in whatever you’re discussing that bonds people together.
"I’m optimistic that this shift will provide a boost for the thousands of businesses located around our urban headquarter locations in the Puget Sound, Virginia, Nashville, and the dozens of cities around the world where our employees go to the office," Jassy said in the announcement. "Our communities matter to us, and where we can play a further role in helping them recover from the challenges of the last few years, we’re excited to do so."
According to the Bellevue Downtown Association, downtown employee foot traffic is currently tracking 67% of early 2020 pre-pandemic levels (Placer.ai, January 2023). This number should grow quickly as more office-based workers come into the office on a regular basis.
"We’re excited and can’t wait to see you downtown," BDA President Patrick Bannon said. "That’s a resounding message from our restaurants and retailers too. Amazon-leased office development projects will continue to move forward, transforming the skyline and street level experience."