Nolte: Amazon Workers Feud Over Returning to Office

(iStock/Getty Images; BNN)
iStock/Getty Images; BNN

Thousands of Amazon workers are whining about having to *gasp* show up at the office three whole days a week.

Entrepreneur reports that some 28,000 Amazon employees have joined an inter-office Slack channel to complain over the horror of returning to the office after years of working from home during the China Virus pandemic.

On the flip side, some 700 have joined Slack channel in favor of coming to work. I’d say, “good for them,” but those are probably the royal pains who are always planning birthday parties and collecting for baby showers.

“By arbitrarily forcing return-to-office without providing data to support it and despite clear evidence that it is the wrong decision for employees, Amazon has failed its role as earth’s best employer,” wrote one employee who doesn’t want to return to the office.

Other employees complained about having to arrange for childcare or the fact that their leased car only allows for 16,000 miles a year. Someone’s even upset about having to move within commuting distance.

CNBC reports that 5,000 of those workers went so far as to sign a petition:

In addition to conveying their concerns about the mandate, the petition also presents a number of data points and studies highlighting the benefits of remote work, such as improved productivity, and the ability to attract and retain top talent.

Previously, Amazon had left it up to individual managers to decide how often their teams would be required to come into the office. [CEO Andy] Jassy had also embraced remote and hybrid work, though he acknowledged Amazon was in a “stage of experimenting, learning and adjusting” and that the company’s return-to-office approach could change.

Last week, Jassy recognized that calling employees back to the office would come with some challenges.

I work from home and have for nearly 20 years. My guess, and this is just a guess, is that I’m allowed to continue to work from home because I produce what I’m contracted to produce. I’m also assuming that if I failed to produce, I would be fired or told to report to the office.

My point is that these employees can fire off all the “data points” they want. If Amazon agreed with those data points, Amazon would likely leave things as is. The company has around 1.5 million employees, which makes these 28,000 a drop in the bucket. I mean, even if those 28,000 are all productive working from home, that doesn’t mean everyone is. Amazon almost certainly believes it can increase productivity with people physically showing up at the office.

This is just another guess, but most of these employees are likely Millennials and Gen-Z, and those are two of the most spoiled, entitled, and lazy generations in the history of mankind. If you are going to work from home, you need self-discipline, a schedule you respect, and deliverables that you deliver. That requires a work ethic, and if I were running a company staffed with Millennials and Gen-Z … well, I would never do something that insane.

These Amazon workers are using the term “Remote Advocacy.” That alone should be a firing offense.

Let’s not forget that this is the generation that came up with and championed the idea of quiet quitting:

Quiet quitting is a buzzword for slacking or taking your foot off the gas pedal at work. Doing the bare minimum. Doing nothing more than meeting expectations. The concept is nothing new.

In a recent Gallup poll, “quiet quitters” make up at least 50% of the U.S. workforce. In 2023, employers are responding by quiet firing. surveyed 1,000 managers with at least one direct report. One in three managers have responded to “quiet quitting” by “quiet firing.”

You don’t need me to tell you that “quiet quitting” is much easier from home.

Disruptions are a part of working life. Companies close. Companies get bought out. Companies move. Companies change their policies. I’ve been through all of that, and so has my wife. It’s not pleasant, but you got to learn to toughen up, grow up, and roll with it.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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