NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon will require its corporate employees to return to the office at least three days a week.
CEO Andy Jassy announced the policy Friday in a memo to staff. It marks a shift from Amazon's current policy of allowing leaders to determine how their teams worked. The change will go into effect May 1.
Many companies have been calling their employees back to the office after the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to operate virtually.
Last month, Starbucks told its corporate employees to plan to work from the office three days a week. Disney is asking employees to plan for four in-office days starting in March. And Walmart said this week that it would require its tech teams to plan regular in-office work days.
Jassy said in his memo that Amazon made its decision after observing what worked during the pandemic. Among other things, he said the senior leadership team watched how staff performed and talked to leaders at other companies. He said they concluded employees tended to be more engaged in person and collaborate more easily.
The move could help local economies, he said.
"I'm also 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 wrote.
Jassy said the details of the policy haven't been finalized. He said he wanted to share the decision — made at a meeting of the company's senior leadership team this week — as early as possible. He said there will be certain roles that will be exempted from the policy, "but that will be a small minority."
Last month, Amazon announced it would trim 18,000 corporate positions in its efforts to prune payrolls that rapidly expanded during the pandemic lockdown. Other big tech companies, including Salesforce and Google, have been doing the same.