In a recent internal meeting called a “fishbowl” meeting at Amazon, CEO Andy Jassy avoided giving specific data to support his decision to bring employees back to the office. Despite Amazon being known for its data-driven approach, Jassy referred to the decision as a “judgement” call. According to a recording of the meeting obtained by Insider, Jassy stated that if employees had an issue with the decision, they were free to leave the company. He emphasized the need for employees to “disagree and commit” and stated that refusing to return to the office would not be acceptable.
Amazon has been increasing the pressure on employees who are not complying with the requirement to work in the office at least three days a week. Last month, the company implemented a policy stating that employees who do not comply, and do not have a rare exception, will be forced to resign voluntarily. This decision came after an internal petition opposing the return to office, signed by approximately 30,000 employees, was rejected by the company.
During the fishbowl meeting, Jassy also mentioned that Amazon did not have compelling data to support remote work during the pandemic. He claimed to have spoken to 60 to 80 CEOs from other companies who preferred bringing employees back to the office. Jassy is now using a phrase from Amazon’s leadership principles to emphasize that employees should no longer question or complain about the decision.
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