Amazon’s return-to-office policy is hugely unpopular with employees, poll says


By Michael Grothaus

A new survey from Glassdoor’s Fishbowl professional network highlights just how contentious Amazon’s recently enacted return-to-office (RTO) policy could be for the company.

Back in February, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy penned a blog post detailing the company’s return-to-office plan. In the post, Jassy said Amazon would begin requiring workers to be in the office for a “majority of the time,” which Jassy said meant at least three days a week. He cited numerous reasons for this, including benefits to in-office work, such as being able to learn from colleagues, and increased collaboration and innovation when people work in the same physical space.

Despite outcries from Amazon employees who had gotten used to working from home during the pandemic, the company carried through with the new RTO plans last month, which, as Bloomberg reported, led to several hundred Amazon employees walking off the job at the company’s Seattle headquarters last month. (The walk-off was staged by a group of employees protesting Amazon’s RTO policy and another group protesting Amazon’s climate policies.)

While a few hundred employees is a small fraction of Amazon’s 300,000-strong workforce, Fishbowl by Glassdoor’s survey shows an overwhelming majority of 366 Amazon employees who answered the poll are not in agreement with the company’s policy.

When Glassdoor asked Amazon employees “Do you support Amazon’s return-to-office policy?” a significant 78% of them answered “no.” Only 22% answered “yes.” 

The lack of support for Amazon’s RTO policy is all the more notable considering how employees across all industries responded when asked if they would be comfortable with their company implementing a hybrid work policy that required between one and three days in the office per week: Fifty-four percent of those respondents said they would not be comfortable with such RTO plans, while 46% said they are comfortable.

Reached for comment, an Amazon spokesperson said, “We’re always listening and will continue to do so, but we’re happy with how the first month of having more people back in the office has been. There’s more energy, collaboration, and connections happening, and we’ve heard this from lots of employees and the businesses that surround our offices. We understand that it’s going to take time to adjust back to being in the office more and there are a lot of teams at the company working hard to make this transition as smooth as possible for employees.”

Amazon’s return-to-office policy is hugely unpopular with employees, poll says

It’s important to note that Glassdoor’s Amazon survey did not include everyone at the company. It was conducted from May 26-June 1, 2023 among 366 confirmed U.S. Amazon and Amazon Web Services employees. (The poll is anonymous, but Fishbowl users must submit an email to verify their employment.) Meanwhile, Glassdoor’s survey of workers from other industries was carried out from June 2-June 5, 2023, and answered by over 7,000 respondents.

This story was updated with Amazon’s statement.

Fast Company