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Amazon asks some workers to relocate as part of return-to-office policy

An Amazon corporate office building is shown Nov. 8, 2014, in Sunnyvale, California. (Getty Images)

(AP) — Amazon is asking some corporate workers to relocate to other cities as part of its return-to-office policy, which mandates workers to be in the office three days a week.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed on Friday that relocations are happening but would not comment on reports by several news outlets that the tech giant was requiring some workers in smaller offices to move to main offices located in bigger cities.

Amazon didn’t provide details on the number of employees that will be required to relocate. Amazon spokesperson Brad Glasser said the company will provide “relocations benefits” to workers who are asked to move and consider requests for exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

“There’s more energy, collaboration, and connections happening since we’ve been working together at least three days per week, and we’ve heard this from lots of employees and the businesses that surround our offices,” Glasser said in a prepared statement. “We continue to look at the best ways to bring more teams together in the same locations, and we’ll communicate directly with employees as we make decisions that affect them.”

The relocations represent an escalation of the company’s efforts to get workers back to the office. In February, Amazon introduced a new policy that would require workers to be in the office three days a week. The policy went into effect in May, prompting hundreds of corporate workers to protest outside of the company’s headquarters in Seattle. Amazon had previously allowed team leaders to determine how their teams worked.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said in February that the company made its decision to bring workers back after observing what worked during the COVID-19 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.

Citing internal messages, Business Insider reported earlier Amazon employees who refuse to relocate near main offices of their teams are being told they either have to find a new job internally or leave the company through a “voluntary resignation.” The company has cut 27,000 jobs in the past few months.