back to article Amazon mandates return to office for 300,000 corporate staff

Amazon boss Andy Jassy is demanding a return to the office for the "majority" of the company's 300,000-strong corporate workforce, with an expectation that employees will spend "at least" three days on site each week. Various parts of the business have operated under different rules during the pandemic, warehouse staff – for …

  1. DJO Silver badge

    Depends on your co-workers

    ...There is something about being face-to-face with somebody, looking them in the eye,...

    That can shift mere dislike to utter contempt.

    OK that was a bit cynical but the workplace environment both physical and cultural has a significant bearing on whether staff want to work there or from home.

    Prove to staff they are valued and the office has significant advantages over WFH then go for it - it might work.

    1. Paul Herber Silver badge

      Re: Depends on your co-workers

      'That can shift mere dislike to utter contempt.'

      They employ cats?

    2. Steve Button Silver badge

      Re: Depends on your co-workers

      I've worked in an office where the guy on the next desk seemed to think it's OK to make a snorting sound every couple of minutes. To call that distracting would be an understatement. The winter sniffles is one thing, but this was seriously horrible. Brings to mind Lovely Soft Filly advert from the 90s.

      Once you hear that noise, you can't stop noticing it and it's a serious drain on productivity.

      This is just one example of why I've spent ZERO days in the office in the last year.

      Of course we have Snort Cancelling Headphones nowadays, but if you keep them on all day what's the point on being in the office?

      I do miss the banter, and I think my family would like me to take my coffee break banter back to the office, but on balance I think I strongly prefer WFH. Happy to go in once a month or maybe even once or twice a week if pushed, or longer for "project kick off" as I can see the value in that.

      So, that's Amazon off my list of potential gigs in the future, which is frankly their loss.

      1. Doogie Howser MD

        Re: Depends on your co-workers

        "..which is frankly their loss"

        Nice ego.

        1. that one in the corner Silver badge

          Re: Depends on your co-workers

          It doesn't fit through an Amazon loading bay door anyway.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Depends on your co-workers

          I've dealt with Amazon developers. My money's on Steve here.

      2. Steve Button Silver badge

        Re: Depends on your co-workers

        Having said all that, I'm lucky in that I converted 1/2 my double garage into an office / granny annex 15 years ago, and so I've got a space which is completely separate from the house (with Ethernet) where I can get really deep focus. If you are still camped on the kitchen side or the couch after nearly three years, or you just don't have the space, then perhaps it's a different story. I was already doing 4 days WFH in 2019, and it worked well for me then. I've also got a sit/stand desk, two large screens and a decent keyboard + a Herman Miller Aeron*.

        In the times that I *have* been into the office (odd days in 2020 and 2021), I have had to work with just the laptop keyboard and a low res 24" monitor + dodgy WiFi. Not ideal.

        * It was £103 off eBay, as has a slight scuff and didn't go up/down until I fixed it.

        1. Marty McFly Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Depends on your co-workers

          Agreed. I've been WFH for a decade. Dedicated work space. Sit/stand desk. Way too many monitors & PCs. Better network connectivity than I ever had in the office.

          To be completely transparent, I am more productive at home than I ever was in an office. And that 2 hours a day I spent commuting, I foolishly thought I would get it. No, my employer got it.

          Spot on though... Camping on a couch or kitchen table with kids getting off the school bus is NOT a good work condition. But it is a generalization to assume every WFH employee is in that situation.

          Savvy employers will embrace WFH talent. Only managers who determine productivity with a butt-in-chair meter will push for office based staff, and those are the managers who suck to work for.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Depends on your co-workers

            Nobody on his deathbed ever said, "I wish I had spent more time at the office."

            Boss tried to get me to go back into the office even though company policy allows me to work full time from home.

            it's a 3 to 4 hour round trip commute, when the trains are running. That is 3-4 hours out of my day. Their reasoning was that I could use the time I spent on the train to work....

            Needless to say it didn't work and I do my 9-5 from home which are my salaried hours.

            Poor management structures and lack of planning are just a couple of reasons why these companies are trying to force people back into their offices.

            Posted anon as the boss probably reads El Reg.

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Depends on your co-workers

            "Their reasoning was that I could use the time I spent on the train to work...."

            It is possible to do work on the train, but only after/before the morning and evening crush. During rush hour, it can be standing room only with no way to do anything but keep positioned so you don't get bumped in the nethers by somebody's laptop case when the train lurches.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Depends on your co-workers

              And virtually nobody in the US can do any work but a few phone calls during a commute. Trains aren't an option for most of us, and until real self-driving cars exist we've got to keep an eye on the road.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Depends on your co-workers

            I've been hybrid-ish for many years. If I'm going to the "office" I walk upstairs. The large desk is covered in computers and I'm almost surrounded by monitors, there's a rack of servers on the other side of the room, and I've even got a couch/daybed up there in case I feel like taking a break. I keep thinking about putting a fridge up there for drinks, but I've talked myself out of it because the "commute" "home" gets me a little bit of exercise when I get thirsty.

            And then I get lazy and work from bed with a couple laptops some days anyway.

            Or I'm onsite with a client. That's usually a few days a week.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Depends on your co-workers

          "If you are still camped on the kitchen side or the couch after nearly three years, or you just don't have the space, then perhaps it's a different story."

          Having a good dedicated work space is important. I stay away from the rest of the house when I'm "at work". The TV is never on, I don't have deliveries made to the house so I don't have people knocking on the door and friends/family are discouraged from dropping by without clearance. Not everybody is good at walling themselves off and might do better in an office. Companies often still need an office so it's good there is staff there to take deliveries, etc, but many estate agencies/agents I know have gone completely virtual. Even before the lockdowns they were meeting with people outside the office and preferring to work from home the rest of the time. If the agents needed help, they'd call their manager or a colleague and sort out the problem over the phone or schedule a lunch/coffee and meet somewhere.

          I'm a bit biased in that I've never worked in a large office and had a social relationship with my co-workers. I've made friends at work but it was never a big group that would go out after hours or organize outside activities. I've found a social life away from work with local groups. While I'm an engineer no matter how thin you slice me, I like other things too and tend to find friends with those other interests and don't spend hours talking about work, after work.

      3. Fr. Ted Crilly Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Depends on your co-workers

        And tea slurpers with the aah enough times eveyrtime to make you listen for it......... :-|

        And don't get me started on chompy noisy eating and rough handling of bowls and spoons .

        It's called 'misaphonia'

      4. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Depends on your co-workers

        "Happy to go in once a month or maybe even once or twice a week if pushed, or longer for "project kick off" as I can see the value in that."

        If I were back working for somebody else, that would be something I'd insist on. The last 'real' job I had in aerospace it would have been easier to work at home most of the time. I had a better computer, a more kitted out workbench and I needed uninterrupted time to do my job. Meeting once every week or two would have been just fine to interface with everybody else on where projects were and get input on things. At least 3/4 of the office spent the day with noise-cancelling headphones on and communicated via email so we wouldn't bother somebody if they were deep in an engineering problem. When I departed, there were people that wanted to come in at the crack of dawn and leave mid-afternoon when we had been coming in later in the winter and a bit earlier in the summer often cutting out in the heat of the afternoon since the HVAC was not up to keeping the place cool or warm. When we were in a building phase or running things on the test site, we'd suck it up and deal with the weather, but for office work?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cat ... bag ...

    All these corporations trying to push stones uphill only have themselves to blame. Maybe they shouldn't have lied about it being "impossible" to WFH before the pandemic.

    It's a shame, in a way (for our US readers this is irony, it isn't what I really think) that this happened at a time when demographics and history have allowed huge chunks of ultra-experienced techs to step back from the rat race and decide what they want to do, rather than doing what MegaCorp Inc. decide they must do.

    Certainly here in the UK, there is a note of hysteria about the horror dawning on the government that they have very little sway over people who aren't claiming benefits and don't need tax breaks.

    1. markr555

      Re: Cat ... bag ...

      Unfortunately they do have some sway, at least over any early retirees, because it is they who make the rules. So instead of requiring 35 years' NI contributions to qualify for a full state pension, they'll simply increase the number of qualifying years required. You must be fortunate enough to have youth on your side if you think that the populace ever gets on over on the government.

      1. Martin Gregorie

        Re: Cat ... bag ...

        Back in the late '90s HMG used to let you buy additional tax years that counted toward your state pension when you hit 65 (as state retirement age was then).

        This was A Good Thing for those of us who'd worked for a few years elsewhere before joining the UK workforce / done an extended degree / spent time on the Hippy Trail / had a long-term illness / etc.

        Is this option still available to the UK tax payer?

        1. Dave@Home

          Re: Cat ... bag ...

          Kind of, the rules seem to state that you can only go back 6 years.

          https://www.gov.uk/voluntary-national-insurance-contributions/who-can-pay-voluntary-contributions

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Cat ... bag ...

            Kind of, the rules seem to state that you can only go back 6 years.

            That depends. If your contribution period spans the changes through SERPS to SSP to workplace pensions you may be able to buy back up to 13 years. Do check, I found that HMRC department to be very helpful.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cat ... bag ...

          Is this option still available to the UK tax payer?

          It is, and is especially worth doing if you're still living abroad and aren't likely to get the required 35 years before you retire. It costs less than £200 for each year you buy back, and you'll get almost £200 every year in additional UK pension. Those years can also count toward eligibility for pensions in other countries, for example France requires 42 years before they'll pay a pension and extra UK years will be taken into account.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: Cat ... bag ...

            Not since Brexit. That slammed the "retire to a warm part of the EU" door shut for everyone who needs the state pension, and made it considerably more expensive for those who don't.

            Doesn't matter to Farage of course, with his German passport.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Cat ... bag ...

              More "project fear" remainer FUD. Brexit didn't change the rules, I get my French pension and will soon get my UK state pension. The French even still deduct their health service charges from my French pension. Under EU rules, if you're only getting a pension from one EU country then that country is officially on the hook for medical care even if you live somewhere like the UK where universal health care is available to all residents. I could have chosen to retire to France if I'd wanted to, since I had 'settled' status, and it wouldn't have changed anything.

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: Cat ... bag ...

                The minimum yearly income to retire in France as of last year was €19,237. The full UK state pension for 2022-2023 is £185.15 a week.

                You've already got your foot in the door should you want to retire in France thanks to the Withdrawal Agreement, well done you, but I'll leave you to work out the rest of the maths to see if new British retirees can or can't retire in France post-Brexit (i.e. as a plain third third country national).

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Cat ... bag ...

                  The minimum yearly income to retire in France as of last year was €19,237.

                  Indeed, that's the legal minimum wage (SMIC) before tax/charges, and is the minimum income requirement for a "visa de long séjour". If your visa is for retirement that income cannot come from employment. You also need proof of health insurance. If you've ever worked in France the situation is different.

                  The full UK state pension for 2022-2023 is £185.15 a week.

                  If your only income is the UK state pension, or even the French SMIC or state pension, you'll struggle to live in France anyway, especially if you have health issues.

                  Even so, I think you overstate the official ease of doing so pre-Brexit, anyway. Many people assumed that freedom of movement meant they could just plonk themselves down in any EU country and live there, with no paperwork to do. Especially for Brits in Spain, they just continued to collect their UK pension, and most of the time no-one noticed.

                  In reality, once you live somewhere for more than 6 months in a year (or leave the UK for more than 6 months in a year) you're likely to find your fiscal residence status has changed. You're then obliged to submit tax returns in the UK & country of residence, and may well have to pay tax in your country of residence and perhaps at home. The rules on which income is taxed where are horribly complex, as are split-year rules, and the subject of many tax treaties. For example, private pensions may be taxable in the country of residence, but government (civil service) ones could still be taxable in the country of source. Property income (buy-to-let) is yet another issue. There's also the question of healthcare, the EHIC/GHIC is only intended for temporary stays. Long-stay residents should sign up with the social services in the country of residence, and have the necessary insurance, many don't bother.

                  Pre-Brexit many people ignored this, and often no-one noticed, at least until something happened to make it obvious. If someone eventually does notice the result could be a large and unexpected tax bill. Now that a visa is required, of course, the paperwork can no longer be ignored. It should never have been, anyway.

                  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                    Re: Cat ... bag ...

                    If you've got one foot in each country, e.g. income from the UK, living in another country then yes, you need two tax returns. If someone has no taxable income in the UK and is living and working in the other country, there's no need to complete UK tax returns.

                    It is obvious if you're working in another country you declare residency, pay tax and social security to that country, and use that country's social security system and health service.

                    What freedom of movement does is give you the right to be a resident, compete on an equal footing for work (no need for companies to sponsor you or prove that nobody else can do the job) and be treated like any other citizen of that country when it comes to the welfare state or healthcare. You may have to do a bit of paperwork to achieve that, but it's not any more onerous than a citizen of that country would have to do either.

                    And now after Brexit that is not true any more. The loss of FoM amongst many other things makes Brexit the greatest swindle perpetrated by a country's government against its own citizens in recent history.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Cat ... bag ...

          "Is this option still available to the UK tax payer?"

          Yes. They even send you a letter some years before state retirement age to let you know that you are behind on payments so you can decide if it's worth buying back the "missing years". My wife got that letter as she was 4 years down from being entitled to a full state pension. We decided it was worth paying the missing bit and now she gets full pension.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cat ... bag ...

        The people I know in that position haven't yet started drawing their pension. They're mortgage free and really don't need masses to live on as the kids have all growed up.

        Of course it would be possible to target them, but the political risk would make it a suicide mission. As the current UK government are finding out.

        Remember, unlike a lot of the people who the government can shit on with impunity, every single person in such a situation votes. And will continue to do so.

        1. Robert Grant

          Re: Cat ... bag ...

          Sure, but single-issue voting isn't great. This isn't a private service like Netflix where you can just cancel it if you don't like it. It's essentially a binary decision: which of two parties do you like based on their claimed stance on ten thousand issues?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: single-issue voting isn't great.

            While I agree, it's not how UK (or English leastways) voters vote. Brexit being a good example. In fact the 2019 election was 2 single issues that collided. "Get Brexit Done" and "Not Jeremy Corbyn".

            And right now my biggest single issue is to get the Tories out by any means necessary. Even if we ended up with a hung parliament and the MRLP calling the shots.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: my biggest single issue is to get the Tories out by any means necessary

              That's gonna be fucking tricky when both major parties are effectively the Tory party.

              Do you hear Kier Starmer saying that it's wrong for energy companies to be making massive profits while making families homeless? Dare he mention that it's wrong for rich shareholders to be taking the food out of people's mouths?

              Thank fuck the London Labour establishment made sure Corbyn was properly vilified. Imagine if that lefty was in charge of the opposition now!

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: my biggest single issue is to get the Tories out by any means necessary

                These days with Sunak in charge, both parties look more like a moderate labour party, or maybe social democrats.

                1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                  Re: my biggest single issue is to get the Tories out by any means necessary

                  If the Tory party were either of those two things then they wouldn't be the continuation Austerity party, they would be come to an agreement over Northern Ireland without having a collective nervous breakdown, and the Home Office wouldn't be run by someone slightly to the right of Genghis Khan.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: my biggest single issue is to get the Tories out by any means necessary

                Corbyn was properly vilified. Imagine if that lefty was in charge of the opposition now!

                If Starmer gets elected I give him a year before he's booted out by the party like Boris and Liz were, and replaced with Rayner or Long-Bailey. Then Corbyn will soon be back.

          2. John H Woods Silver badge

            Re: Cat ... bag ...

            Almost but not quite. There are more than two parties, and In a FPtP shamocracy, you can only sensibly vote against the party you don't like, not for the one that you do.

            1. 43300 Silver badge

              Re: Cat ... bag ...

              If you live in a constituency with the incumbent party having a large majority (and having held the seat for decades), as many of us do, you can't even meaningfully vote against the party you don't like, as the swing required would be massive and apart from in very unusual circumstances that is simply not going to happen.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Cat ... bag ...

                And yet it did when the Great North Red Wall suddenly gained some large blue holes at the last election. Admittedly because of single issue voting in the main, but it shows that it can happen.

                I wonder if "voter apathy" is most of the problem with "safe" seats? Here, we've not had a Tory MP since about 1834. it was a Liberal MP from then until Labour came into existence. Labour won, then the Libs won it back, then Labour won again in 1935 and have never lost since. Most people I know either vote Labour or don't bother to vote. It's the sort of constituency that I think would benefit from compulsory voting. Even if Labour continue to win, at least we'd know it was a real majority and get a true measure of what that majority really is or isn't.

                1. Richard 12 Silver badge

                  Re: Cat ... bag ...

                  Compulsory voting only works if there's a "none of the above" option that genuinely triggers a by-election.

                  BTW, have you got your Voter ID yet? The Tories sneaked that bit of explicit voter suppression in very quietly.

                  - Check the list of acceptable forms of ID, and think about what sort of person doesn't have them and cannot feasibly get them. You know, students, poorer working class...

                  The "free" ID you can get requires Internet access and a smartphone, so you cannot do it at a library. If you can't afford a smartphone then you've been disenfranchised.

                  It's also an A4 sheet of paper, so very easily lost or damaged, which will invalidate it.

                  I fear a very low turnout for the May elections - that's clearly the goal.

                  The Tories have a huge majority but know that a huge proportion of the country hates them. That desperation makes them incredibly dangerous.

                  1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                    Re: Cat ... bag ...

                    You know, students, poorer working class...

                    Bus pass, student card, blue badge?

                    The "free" ID you can get requires Internet access and a smartphone, so you cannot do it at a library. If you can't afford a smartphone then you've been disenfranchised.

                    Absolute nonsense, always peddled by Labour voters who can't understand why they rarely win elections, and prefer to blame someone else rather than accept that its Labour policies which fail.

                    If you need help with getting ID, just call the office of the candidate you want to vote for (or any candidate, for that matter), they'll fall over themselves to ensure that you have what you need to vote. It's their job, after all.

                    1. chris street

                      Re: Cat ... bag ...

                      So why has the list of acceptable documents for voting got an over 60 bus pass on it, the 60+Oyster cards on it - but doesnt extend that courtesy to teenage travel passes...

                      Almost as if someone wanted to remove a certain demographic from voting.

                    2. Richard 12 Silver badge
                      FAIL

                      Re: Cat ... bag ...

                      I'll be nice, "Phil", and assume you don't actually know the requirements.

                      Not surprising, they've barely been advertised. I only know because a friend works at Citizens Advice.

                      Student ID is not accepted, and neither are the full-time education bus or oyster photocards that are physically identical to the over 60s bus/oyster passes that are accepted.

                      So on polling day, pretty much everyone over 60 will have an acceptable ID in their wallet, but hardly anyone else will.

                      All this to "prevent" a problem that doesn't even exist in the first place.

                      It's quite astounding to see Tory voters happy for this, it's almost like they don't understand that it sets the precedent for the next government to disenfranchise them, instead.

                      Large majorities are dangerous. No party - not even the one I currently support - should be permitted one.

                  2. Persona Silver badge

                    Re: Cat ... bag ...

                    The "free" ID you can get requires Internet access and a smartphone, so you cannot do it at a library

                    Alternatively, you can contact your local electoral registration office and ask them to send you an application form by post. You will need to provide some personal details and a recent photograph of yourself. You will also need someone who knows you and is registered to vote in your area to confirm your identity. This person is called your ‘attester’.

                    1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
                      Black Helicopters

                      Re: Cat ... bag ...

                      Is it done like that so that youngster have to be polite to their elders (since based on other comments they are likely the only one currently enrolled in the new system), otherwise they are not allowed to vote?

                2. 43300 Silver badge

                  Re: Cat ... bag ...

                  That was one of the very unusual circumstances I mentioned (and I fully expect many of those to swing back again at the next election).

                  I live in a very rural and geographically large constituency, with no cities or large towns. As would be expected it's 'true blue', and I cannot see any likely change (I've never voted Tory, but in fairness the current MP seems OK and does respond if contacted).

              2. VicMortimer Silver badge

                Re: Cat ... bag ...

                It's the same in the US. Lots of us have been so gerrymandered that for most elections our vote doesn't matter at all. Vote against the Orange Menace? Of course I did, both times, but my vote didn't matter at all because my state was going to the tiny-fingered, cheeto-faced, ferret-wearing shitgibbon no matter what. My vote counts in local elections (we've even had a city council election decided by a single vote in the last few years) but effectively doesn't at the state level.

          3. that one in the corner Silver badge

            Re: Cat ... bag ...

            > It's essentially a binary decision: which of two parties...

            It isn't binary quite yet in England and certainly not in the UK - although publicising that attitude is a good way to reach that situation.

            No doubt there are plenty of people who are jealous of the US political landscape and fervently wish we could have a basic two-party system here. (Would put in a sarcasm tag but it really does feel like many people do really, really, want there to only be a two party system).

            1. 43300 Silver badge

              Re: Cat ... bag ...

              In England, it's not quite binary at the local level (other parties do have councillors), but at a national level it absolutely is binary - and the rise of the SNP in Scotland, and the LibDems crashing and burning following Clegg, has just made the England situation worse!

        2. Nifty Silver badge

          Re: Cat ... bag ...

          Is postal voting allowed from the Med?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Cat ... bag ...

            No. Proxy voting is allowed, unless you've lived outside the UK for over 15 years. Tony Bliar brought in that limit, Cameron said he'd remove it but didn't.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cat ... bag ...

        35 years??? It was 44 for me. Put it back up! (am not serious)

  3. markr555

    Time to walk the talk?

    Looking forward to opportunities at Amazon now that all the people who said 'over my dead body will I return to the office' will be tendering their resignation, or perhaps they won't? Time for all the naysayers to put their money where their mouth is....

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Time to walk the talk?

      Since they are only asking for 3 days per week in the office, ie hybrid, I suspect quite a lot of those who said "over my dead body" will still show up. There will be a spectrum of people for and against returning to the office from the hard core to the "well, it's only three day a week, I might as well". With a partial, but compulsory return to the office, it's much less of a black and white issue

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Time to walk the talk?

      You're willing to go to the office.

      Yes, that's a "skill" that you have and I don't.

      However, if your work is shit it doesn't matter where you do it. And if your work is good they will make allowances to keep you on the team even if you don't want to go in.

      You rush in to Amazon, I'm sure they'll treat you with the respect you deserve.

  4. bigtimehustler

    Whenever I hear a company talking about "culture", all I hear is brainwashing. Nobody truly believes in a companies culture, they just keep their mouths shut and nod their heads in agreement while thinking, yea sure. If companies really believe their employees embrace their designated company culture they are just fooling themselves.

    Also, how do they actually know its easier to get people to believe in a company culture from the office? How have they found out less people follow their culture while at home? How have they even measured how many believed in the culture while in the office?

    Given the employees, collectively, have the power, they really should just not go back in.

    1. Martin Gregorie

      Company cultures

      There were, and maybe still are, exceptions: ICL (back in the '70s), the BBC and Logica (til it went titsup) all spring to mind as decent places to work and all made some effort to keep themselves that way.

      1. Julz

        Re: Company cultures

        I would also like to add Sun Microsystems to that list. Well, at least in the early days...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The "company culture" stuff.

      It's usually overambitious under-35s who are bleating on LinkedIn about how the company "aligns with my values [...] I fully believe in their mission statement" and "so blessed to be working with such wonderful people" every day. And how there's a tickertape parade and 4000 Likes from randoms whenever they announce their new role which is still paying less than inflation and requires you to be in the heart of London.

      I was like that right at the very start. No more. It's just work. Find a job that's not unbearably awful and pays you enough to be comfortable.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        "Find a job that's not unbearably awful and pays you enough to be comfortable."

        and spend your income wisely so you have your own home and aren't in massive debt when that company makes you redundant.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Company cultures

      Often hypocritical, never followed by senior management or completely ignored.

      “Company Culture” is why I retired at 57.

      Oh, and a great superannuation balance.

    4. NeilPost Silver badge

      If they want people back in the office for meetings and whiteboard huddles, then they need to repatriate jobs back from India.

      I’m 40 miles from my office, Bangalore is fucking thousands.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
        Trollface

        so this is a good opportunity to ear Miles!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The Reg has yet to find definitive research outlining the impact of remote or hybrid working on businesses' bottom line."

    Maybe not definitive, still... the past two/three years have seen a jaw dropping amount of research/propaganda emerging from nowhere and praising remote work's positive or inexistent impact on productivity, e.g.

    David Powell, president of Prodoscore said their data showed that if an employee was highly productive in-office, they’ll be productive at home; if an employee slacked off at the office, they’ll do the same a home. “After evaluating over 105 million data points from 30,000 U.S.-based Prodoscore users, we discovered a five percent increase in productivity during the pandemic work from home period,” he said. “Although, as we know, any variant of the Covid-19 virus is unpredictable, employee productivity is not.”

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/bryanrobinson/2022/02/04/3-new-studies-end-debate-over-effectiveness-of-hybrid-and-remote-work/

    https://hbr.org/2020/08/research-knowledge-workers-are-more-productive-from-home

    https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/consulting/future-work?c=acn_glb_talentandorganimediarelations_12163686&n=mrl_0521

    Then again, one can argue whether it is even possible to gather "definitive" data on such a multi-faceted topic. E.g. from personal experience I can say that when the company you work for makes you use a VPN to connect to the intranet, that in turn makes you wait 5-10 seconds for any upload or download ("any" not being an hyperbole, with average download speeds around 100kBps), I can attest that productivity while working remotely can potentially suffer. Conversely, when you happen to have to work in a "modern open office environment", which suspiciously resembles a corridor, productivity can and does tank while in the office too.

    It's not at all surprising how the attention seems to be concentrated solely on employee productivity, and not at all on management, organization and enablement.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      I think the issues you raised are the most important. I see a lot of people who like either WFH or the office and want to prove that it is always better under all conditions for every person. Most of those people also think "prove" is the same as "shout repeatedly without even trying for evidence". I don't have evidence because I haven't studied it, but there are very noticeable differences in productivity depending on what kind of office you're working in, how easily a team has productive, non-rigid discussions when they're working remotely, and whether they have methods of getting new hires added in that rely on a lot of communication between team members. There will be a different answer for a lot of groups, but even despite this, a company can use those details to adjust the situation for what they want to do. For example, if a company wants everyone to come into the office for whatever reason, they could at least make the office a place employees don't hate going. In case any companies are reading this, this means walls so you're not inundated by everyone's noises and can have some degree of separation between groups.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        For example, if a company wants everyone to come into the office for whatever reason, they could at least make the office a place employees don't hate going.

        Are you implying that people want to WFH because they don't like their office and if only employer could make a place employees "don't hate going", then that would end WFH?

        How employer is going to create an office better than one's home or private office?

        Especially one that does not need any commuting?

        so you're not inundated by everyone's noises and can have some degree of separation between groups.

        Something a farm owner would say being concerned their hens lay poor eggs.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          "Are you implying that people want to WFH because they don't like their office": Not at all. I am not implying that, I'm stating it outright. Lots of people, including me, avoid unpleasant offices, and fewer people will avoid nice ones.

          "and if only employer could make a place employees "don't hate going", then that would end WFH?": No, I didn't say that. I said that it might help people who hate the office to not hate it so much, and then they might be happier about going there. That doesn't mean they'll always want to, just that hopefully it will be nicer.

          "How employer is going to create an office better than one's home or private office?": That depends on what your home or private office is like. I didn't work from home at the start of the pandemic, so at the beginning, my home office wasn't a perfect one. It was a desk I used to build projects on that had my peripherals. My projects got evicted and that became the office. If you live in a house with an extra room you can turn into an office, it's better than if you have a small place or one with a lot of other people living in it. Maybe your home office is nicer than mine; it wouldn't surprise me. In any case, the work office doesn't have to be better than everyone's home setups. It could just be better than what it is now.

        2. chris street

          My first WFH "office" was a cramped table with no space and a bad chair in a back to back house with crap internet. Going into the office would have been prefereable but you know, lockdown.

          Now I've moved I have a large room just as the office and it's well kitted out, private, quiet, and I get tons of work done with no distractions. You are going to find it hard to beat that unless the office comes with a personal masseuse and I get paid a 20k bonus to come in.

          The biggest problem with open plan offices is open plan offices. If you dont get that, congratulations. You are part of the fortunate crowd that doesnt get distracted and annoyed by every single f****r coming past and interrupting you. But you are going to run about 2/5th of your workforce very suboptimally if you insist on battery farming them, compared to their nice distraction free spaces at home.

          Also if you are going to insist on people coming in, I do hope the company is going to offset the carbon. And report it on the accounts.

      2. NeilPost Silver badge

        Prove.

        Before CV

        1 hour travel + 8 hours work + 1 hour return travel (plus costs of lunch, fuel, car servicing) = Job Expectations Delivered

        After CV

        8 hours work = Job Expectations Delivered

        Add’s up to me. Not for everyone, but if you need a classroom with people in it to enable you to work, plus a lunchtime meal deal from Tesco or Gregg’s plus £10 fuel a day … knock yourself out.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          So much depends on the kind of work. Some is as easy from home as in an office, but not all.

          A couple of years ago, as lockdown was winding down, I was house-hunting. Some estate agents had locked offices, everything was done from home via video tours. Others had open offices (with sensible mask/separation rules) and would arrange actual visits where possible. Guess which ones I used, and bought a house from?

          Time will tell, the companies who pick the wrong option for their situation will lose staff/money & disappear.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Let's say that within a company productivity drops 5% in total with having people work from home. Now let's say that the company is paying 10% less in employment costs. It becomes more important to define what a unit of work actually is and how much each unit is costing the company. I can always look busy when at work so there has to be a more objective way to measure my 'productivity' than by appearances. There are also cases where somebody might be called unproductive until they are sacked and the company finds there aren't many people that can do the job so that person's value was much greater than what it might have appeared. The question is whether management knows how to spot those things.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    glad I didn't pursue a job with them further

    It got as far as the initial discussion phase but they didn't sound right for me. The main issue was that they were delivering cloud for a third party and were expecting 90% on site.

  7. NotMeEither

    Commuting is dead

    I have zero interest in mainlining money directly into a privatised rail company to travel to an office and then remotely managing systems and staff that are not based in said office. Commuting as it was is dead and long may it remain so.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @NotMeEither - Re: Commuting is dead

      It's not only about money. In my case, spending (you could also say wasting) 40hrs a month commuting is not what 21st century is supposed to be.

    2. bigtimehustler

      Re: Commuting is dead

      Too right, if my company asked, and they have not, why would I go in to manage a team where none of them are on the office I would go into. They are all axross Europe in different countries. So, we would all go on to remotely work together anyway. Never going to happen

    3. NeilPost Silver badge

      Re: Commuting is dead

      Cost of Living… who can afford to commute any more in the IT world ??

  8. JamesTGrant

    What else can be dictated?

    If there is no published, credible evidence to support the ‘office is better for the business’ then is this just opinion? Similarly, can the CEO express their opinions that people should only eat cucumber sandwiches for lunch? Or that they believe that wearing any colour but black affects the business? Given the record revenue that Amazon have reported (all in ways that make them non tax-liable of course) since remote working became the norm, it’s tricky to see a business rationale for enforcing an office return. Saying it’s tricky for new hires, it is more an admission of poor management, and lack of adequate governance and support, than a lack of time spent in a building. New hires are unlikely to be supported any better (probably worse) if you truely believe in learning by physical proximity as a substitute for actual peer-peer working practices, training, intentional mentoring and effective line management for new starters (I assume they mean folk new into the working world).

    1. Steve Button Silver badge

      Re: What else can be dictated?

      Actually yes. Yes, they can.

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: What else can be dictated?

        Ok, that’s me never going to anything they’re responsible for, then. I am, after all, a pioneer member of People Eating Tasty Animals.

  9. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    A fear of loneliness caused by long-term remote work was cited in another survey as a factor.

    So your social life is work? Enjoy your retirement!

    1. that one in the corner Silver badge

      There is a significant difference for some people between doing their 7.5 hours a day in isolation or within a group (or even a crowd). Note: a group. Not "a group of close personal friends" nor even necessarily anything they'd consciously describe as their "social life".

      When they retire, such people are suddenly free to spend those 7.5 hours a day in places with people around them, so, yes, they will probably enjoy their retirement (more ability to *choose* the group, for example).

      But, glad to know that you aren't in any way of that state of mind.

  10. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Creepy

    "There is something about being face-to-face with somebody, looking them in the eye, and seeing they're fully immersed in whatever you're discussing, that bonds people together. Teams tend to find ways to work through hard and complex trade-offs faster when they get together and map it out in a room."

    Am I the only one who find this statement extremely creepy?

    If you don't have friends outside of work and you only "bond" with people who are contractually forced to interact with you, have you not considered that you may have some sort of personality disorder?

    I think it's better to seek therapy than forcing thousands of people to come to office so you can feed your "bonding" fantasy.

    WOW

    1. Robert Grant

      Re: Creepy

      I don't know what I think of the quoted text, but what you're saying in no way follows from it says.

    2. Korev Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Creepy

      If you don't have friends outside of work and you only "bond" with people who are contractually forced to interact with you, have you not considered that you may have some sort of personality disorder?

      Have you ever started work in a new place where you don't know anyone? Your colleagues are pretty much the first people you meet and many could become friends.

      The other side of this is to think of "trailing spouses" in the expat communities whom often become bored and unhappy with little social contact.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Creepy

        Your colleagues are pretty much the first people you meet and many could become friends.

        I think the correct term would be acquaintances.

        You don't need to be friends with someone to do the work. Some corporations use these psychological manipulation techniques saying "we are family" etc. to make you feel personally attached to the company and hope by that they will extract more performance from you or that you will do more work than you are being paid for, because you know "for family".

        They also want you to be attached to other workers so that you may be less inclined to leave if competition gives you a better offer, because you know you don't want to leave your "friends".

        Making friendships at work is unhealthy and toxic. Don't do that.

        Work is for work and make friends outside of workplace.

        1. ragnar

          Re: Creepy

          > Making friendships at work is unhealthy and toxic. Don't do that.

          What? You sound like some sort of asocial basement dweller when you come out with blanket statements like that.

          Faking a friendship at work is unhealthy and toxic.

          If you're lucky enough to work somewhere full of awesome people, making friends is normal human behaviour.

          Some of my closest friends are people I worked with 5 or 10 years ago where we just clicked instantly - I can't understand why you would deprive yourself of the possibility of enriching your life with awesome people, just because you happened to meet them at work.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @ragnar - Re: Creepy

            Are you working in PR dept by chance ? Asking for a friend.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Creepy

          I met lifelong friends on my graduate scheme. One of them put a word in for me at their new employer and I got an interview which I otherwise wouldn't have considered applying for.

          A family friend of mine applied for a Big4 graduate programme after being influenced at a chance meeting. It changed his life completely, a career he'd never have expected having and he met his future wife at work. 13 years of marriage later and their third-born appeared at Christmas 2020.

          Don't ever poo-poo having friends at work. It's especially valuable if you've moved somewhere new and don't know anyone, which was mine and a few of my cohort's situation.

          And why is it so awful for young people to have friends at work, when it's totally fine for boomers and older workers to have a "network" and "contacts"?

          1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

            Re: Creepy

            One of them put a word in for me at their new employer and I got an interview which I otherwise wouldn't have considered applying for.

            Do you know that there is a term for that? It's called Nepotism.

            and he met his future wife at work.

            A red flag right there.

            so awful for young people to have friends at work

            They don't realise that they are being so used by corporations, they get fed this nonsense that work can be a substitute for personal life. Corporations want to swallow you whole and then spit you out when you are no longer needed.

            when it's totally fine for boomers and older workers to have a "network" and "contacts"?

            Kind of false equivalence.

            1. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: Creepy

              I see we're adding "nepotism" to the list of words you don't know. Nepotism is if I get a job because I have some relationship to the hiring business. It is not that I apply to a job because I know the person and am then considered fairly. People don't always look at every company in existence when they're considering where to go, but if a friend says that an employer is good to work for and is looking for someone with your skills, it's worth considering them.

              1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

                Re: Creepy

                Now you are gaslighting.

                Here is the definition of Nepotism, because you clearly have no clue:

                the practice among those with power or influence of favouring relatives, friends, or associates, especially by giving them jobs.

                1. doublelayer Silver badge

                  Re: Creepy

                  That is what I said. Giving jobs to people you know, not recommending you apply. It is not nepotism if I still have to compete in the interview process and am treated with the same standards that would affect a candidate they didn't know. Here's a quick summary:

                  Why did I get the job:

                  Nepotism: Because my brother owns the company.

                  Not nepotism: Because my brother told me the company was looking for someone with my experience and I applied and interviewed normally.

                  Nepotism: Because my friend didn't want to interview anybody so just went with me.

                  Not nepotism: Because my friend thought I'd enjoy the company and suggested it, then I applied and interviewed normally.

                  You see the important point here? Do you have any evidence that the original poster didn't apply and interview normally after being told about the job?

                  1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

                    Re: Creepy

                    You see the important point here?

                    Yes. You clearly didn't read the original poster. I'll quote again.

                    One of them put a word in for me at their new employer and I got an interview which I otherwise wouldn't have considered applying for.

                    It wouldn't be nepotism if one of them didn't say anything at their new employer and only told the original poster their company is hiring.

                    1. doublelayer Silver badge

                      Re: Creepy

                      I'm still not seeing any inappropriate abuse of a relationship here. I'm seeing two things:

                      1. The friend told the poster about the job opportunity, and they applied to it even though they wouldn't have found it in a manual search. This is not inappropriate.

                      2. The friend told the employer about the qualifications of the poster which may have helped. This is not only not inappropriate, but it's also common practice to ask for and get references from former colleagues.

                      The part you quoted clearly says "I got an interview", which means they had to prove themselves for the job. It wasn't just handed to them. I'd have agreed with you if they said "One of them put a word in for me at their new employer and I got the job right then", but they didn't say that.

                      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

                        Re: Creepy

                        The 1. You are twisting what op wrote.

                        The 2. however you dress it, is still nepotism. Just because something is common practice, only means how bad we still got this. This shouldn't be an accepted practice.

                        The part you quoted clearly says "I got an interview", which means they had to prove themselves for the job

                        That is just your assumption. The fact they got interview is enough. Not everyone is so lucky to get one. If I may make an assumption as well, they might have set up an interview to make the process look legit, but it could as well have looked like "nice to meet you OP, X said you you are very good, when can you start?".

            2. that one in the corner Silver badge

              Re: Creepy

              > Do you know that there is a term for that? It's called Nepotism.

              No it isn't! Nepotism would be if the new employer was a relative (or friend) and gave the job because of that. A friend just passing on a name as a third party is just - what friends do. It has always been quite normal at every place I've worked for managers/team leaders to ask if there are any people we know who might want to put in an application for a job, if we think they'd be a help to the team.

              >> when it's totally fine for boomers and older workers to have a "network" and "contacts"?

              > Kind of false equivalence.

              Again, no - your network and contacts can be some of your friends as well and by the time you are an "older worker" anyone who has been in your network for a few decades it is possibly inevitable.

          2. that one in the corner Silver badge

            Re: Creepy

            > and he met his future wife at work

            Good for them. Hope they have a happy life together.

        3. that one in the corner Silver badge

          Re: Creepy

          > You don't need to be friends with someone to do the work

          True, but who is saying that being friends is a necessity?

          > Making friendships at work is unhealthy and toxic. Don't do that.

          > Work is for work and make friends outside of workplace.

          Toxic? Wow.

          But that is the beginning of a perfect self-fulfilling prophecy: go in to a situation saying "I don't care who or what you are, I am determined that you'll never be a friend and anything that may indicate otherwise is Toxic Behaviour" and guess what, no-one there will ever be your friend.

          1. MisterHappy

            Re: Creepy

            So should it be:

            A) "Now we have been working together for a several months, I realise that you are the kind of person I like & get on really well with. We have a few interests in common and we have talked loads while working on projects together. Unfortunately seeing as we work together I feel that we cannot be friends so, thanks for the invite to your housewarming/BBQ/Social event but no, don't ask again."

            Or

            B) "How was my weekend? What has that got to do with work? We are at work and you are only a colleague so please keep any discussion to work topics only?"

            Maybe, just see how you get on with the people you work with, find out that out of all of them there are 1 or 2 that you wouldn't mind socialising with outside of work & gradually transition from colleagues into friends.

            Caveat... If the only people you have as friends are from work then maybe look at socialising more.

            1. that one in the corner Silver badge

              Re: Creepy

              > just see how you get on with the people you work with...

              Absolutely.

            2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

              Re: Creepy

              How was my weekend?

              At work you are supposed to say "Great, yours?"

              and then carry on with work.

              No need for any drama. You may want to look at your life with a therapist if you have to search for people at work to invite to your personal events.

        4. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Creepy

          Work is for work and make friends outside of workplace.

          You do realise that many people meet their future life partners in work?

          I have many friends made from work, some in my local office and others from remote offices met during business trips. I also, of course, have many friends met outside work. There's no hard & fast rule.

          As for bonding, bonding with team mates is a very different thing, for different reasons, than bonding with friends. A group of workmates who haven't bonded at all isn't a team, it's just a collection of employees. I've bonded with teammates, we often lunched together, went for a beer together on business trips, and generally had fun. We rarely actually saw each other outside the office otherwise, nor did we really want to.

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Creepy

      What you've said is not what the quote says. That you have some bond with your colleagues does not mean that you have no bonds of friendship outside work, or even that the bond with your colleagues is the same strength as the ones you have with your friends. It is just a connection, and on that basis, I think it is correct (although I would phrase it in a more informal, non-corporate way).

      When I've worked with people for a while, I come to know a lot about how they work. I know who is a good person to ask questions, how their work styles compare to one another, if there are significant differences in the kind of tasks they do well, etc. This helps me to complete things more successfully. It's not just work-related things either. I also start to know things like what they're interested in outside work, how they live, how friendly they are, and those things can help as well. For example, I would know who among my colleagues might be interested in working with me on a project outside work, which people I can ask for help if I need it, or who isn't happy with the job and wants to move, and I have helped colleagues leave when I knew they wanted something else. Some of those people have had so much in common that we have had a friendship that lasted even after one or more of us left the job, but many others don't. When we're working so closely together, that kind of connection is useful to everyone and, as we're social animals, is almost automatically built if the information is available. Anecdotally, I've come to know such things more quickly when I was physically close to the people concerned than when I'm doing it all from a video meeting, but this may not be universal.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Creepy

        I also start to know things like what they're interested in outside work, how they live, how friendly they are, and those things can help as well. For example, I would know who among my colleagues might be interested in working with me on a project outside work, which people I can ask for help if I need it, or who isn't happy with the job and wants to move, and I have helped colleagues leave when I knew they wanted something else.

        So you are fishing for personal information and what do you need this for? And then you want to work with them outside of work? Do you get an idea how unhealthy this sounds?

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Creepy

          I'm not fishing for personal information. We talk to each other and reveal it. To be clear, I'm looking for extremely private details such as whether they commute by bicycle because they like cycling or just because it's convenient, information which I would later use to invite them to a cycling event if their response was that they like to do it in their free time as well. Or, in another case, to reveal that I have hobbies involving embedded hardware and so does that guy, so when I hear that that guy wants to build something in his spare time, I ask if he'd like my help building the OS image for it. Sometimes they agree, sometimes they pass, and sometimes they're the people inviting me to do something and asking me some intensely personal questions like "I have two dogs. Do you like dogs?". The horror.

          I'm beginning to wonder what your colleagues think of you. You appear to view your employer as an enemy and any possibility of social interaction of a very basic kind as a risk to be avoided. I don't reveal private information to acquaintances and you don't have to either to know them a little.

          1. that one in the corner Silver badge

            Re: Creepy

            > I'm beginning to wonder...

            I believe you have hit the nail on the head there. Not a solo attitude either, going by the approval given to the statement on what constitutes "toxic" behaviour; it would be an interesting dynamic were those all gathered together in one office.

    4. that one in the corner Silver badge

      Re: Creepy

      > If you don't have friends outside of work and you only "bond" with people who are contractually forced to interact with you

      Well, as the paragraph you quoted from made no mention of "only bonding with" co-workers, nor did it say anything at all about whether or not you have any friends outside of work

      > have you not considered that you may have some sort of personality disorder?

      Better to look at basic, and easily solved, literacy issues before starting to cast out unpleasant accusations of mental conditions.

  11. pimppetgaeghsr

    ....and it would be a shame if you were all to quit and we didn't have to pay your stocks or severance.

    1. Steve Button Silver badge

      Yeah, nice idea. Might save you quite a few bucks this quarter. But who do you think are going to quit first? The "plodders" who struggle to find anything else, or the super productive ones who'll be snapped up by another company? By mandating this policy, which is hugely unpopular, you'll just end up pushing out the higher performers. That's the start of a downward spiral for any company.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        But the managers don't care.

        If they have been tasked to reduce the headcount by <insert number here>, they will do it because their bonus depend on the execution of the task.

        If there is an issue 3 year later, they won't care because they will have moved to another position by then.

    2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      and the new inside IR35 contracts will be waiting for new hires, so that company won't ever have to worry about unions or other things coming from these pesky employment rights.

      1. runt row raggy

        it's not always about the UK.

  12. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Happy

    No hard stares at home

    Back in the office Paddington usually gives the hard stare to those who have bad manners. It worked on both Mr Brown and Nuckles McGinty in their "office" environments. I'd love to see the next Paddington 3 movie with him just "working from home"!

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: No hard stares at home

      These days, though, hard states apparently result in a parliamentary enquiry about bullying...

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: No hard stares at home

        s/states/stares/

        &*(%$ing autocorrect :-(

  13. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Don't call me a .....

    > calling staff back to the office three days a week

    Apparently the most popular (for whom?) option is to have staff in the office for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

    And yes, the acronym is exactly what you think it is!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't call me a .....

      Acronym aside I can see why those days are popular.

      People often like a gentler lazier start on a Monday and a chilled carefree Friday. Working the three days in the middle makes perfect sense.

    2. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Don't call me a .....

      Better than Wednesday,Thursday, Friday?

  14. Mockup1974 Bronze badge

    "...There is something about being face-to-face with somebody, looking them in the eye,..."

    So is Amazon going to shut down their website and only do brick & mortar stores?

  15. Handlebars

    300k

    I shouldn't be that surprised for a global firm. But 300k corporate staff! So not counting all the warehouse workers and delivery subcontractors. Possibly not even counting all the data centre people.

    1. kat_bg

      Re: 300k

      well, the article stated that they have 1,6 million in total so 300 k it is possible

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: 300k

      They only have about a hundred different cloud services, and although I'm not sure whether people use all of them, they have to have maintenance teams for all of that and then add more teams for the interaction and management of those services. Then financial and legal staff for all the countries in which their cloud and/or store operates. They also have a publishing system and manufacture ereaders. This might include the staff for all their subsidiaries as well. I'm not that surprised by the number.

  16. ske1fr
    Mushroom

    Here's a thought, Amazon

    Instead of trying to bully your staff back into offices so your pencil-dick manglers (or power-crazed bitches, could be bitches) can feel that thrill of power, why don't you fix your crappy website so when I search for X I see products made by X, not five million kinds of crap made by anyone but X? Here's another thought. What exactly do you think really happens in all those pointless meetings where you think all this creativity happens? It doesn't produce creative insights; it wastes their time. Time they could use to make Amazon useful again, not the pile of shite it is now. Most of my creative moments happened anywhere but in the office.Here's a final thought: CEO? Chief Excretory Orifice, dumping on the workers. No, not a disgruntled Amazon staff member, just a happily retired worker who hated time waster manglers and was lucky 95 per cent of the time to avoid the manglers in favour of the effective managers who could generate high productivity and loyalty.

    And relax ...

    1. that one in the corner Silver badge

      Re: Here's a thought, Amazon

      It is hard to see anywhere on the Amazon website that has been improved by any of their inventiveness.

      I quite miss the old days of seeing a list of decent recommendations on the Amazon home page; even when it went awry it was at least amusing: I was convinced that only one other person had bought a copy of (certain huge book) so I was getting suggestions for lots of maths monographs (interesting, but way above my A-level results) and just hoped (s)he was fascinated by C++ programming.

      Then again, I spent far too much money when their recommendations were good, so the changes have been saving wear and tear on the credit card: that was their intention, wasn't it?

    2. Bbuckley

      Re: Here's a thought, Amazon

      And ... your "AI" does not suggest I buy "THE EXACT SAME F**king THING I HAVE JUST BOUGHT".

  17. FIA Silver badge

    Microsoft previously talked of productivity paranoia, in which managers are unsure how effective their remote workforce is being. In research, it found 85 percent of biz leaders professed to having these feelings.

    This doesn't make any sense does it?

    If the only metric for productivity you've got is being able to 'see' your staff then there's something wrong.

  18. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

    Amazon Metrics

    "learning from peers is useful and critical" -- yet aren't workers doing so penalized in their "Time Off Task" metrics?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shitty

    Glad I don’t use any of their goods or services.

    I wonder if the CEO will be clicking in and out of the office , 9 to 5 , Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

    Didn’t think so.

    Yup. Just leave and go somewhere that appreciates you and has a less toxic product. BAT?

  20. Diogenes
    Mushroom

    Check your privilege

    For equity everybody should be in the office.

    An awful lot of people don't get an option at all, eg Amazons warehouse workers and delivery drivers.

    1. unbender

      Re: Check your privilege

      Helps build the narrative that sticking in at school is a really good idea.

    2. Bbuckley

      Re: Check your privilege

      What has 'equity' to do with anything???

  21. xyz123 Silver badge

    Return to work doesn't include Jeff bezos or the board of directors as they've stated they dont want to risk catching COVID.....

    Seriously.

  22. aerogems Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Translation

    We're paying for rent on all these buildings and no one's using them!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does Amazon only have one office?

    How do they all fit?

  24. Winkypop Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Come back to the office!

    We don’t trust you.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Been off playing with big-school fireworks?

    Carrying out McCarthyesk "you don't need a union when it's this FUN to work here ALL OF THE TIME" work-place practices?

    Crappy website peddling crappy knockoffs?

    What's that you say, Jeffrey - Your business is going a bit bumps skyward?

    So MOAR control of the cult members will fix it, you think?

    1. Bbuckley

      But I neeed the money to pay for my penis-shaped space rocket for me and my friends :-(

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Absolute joker

    Last time I worked in an office I spent most of the time wearing noise cancelling headphones because it was so noisy (open plan barn with metal floors) and/or hiding so people wouldn’t continually interrupt me. Other than that I sat in endless pointless meetings meaning I generally got home late. In another office I worked at, one of our colleagues would cycle in, refuse to shower or change and then stink the place out. It has always been an uphill battle to get a decent office chair that didn’t destroy my back. I could go on but you get the picture. I only WFH now and will never go back short of a personal financial meltdown. If office work is so good, why do employees need to be forced back kicking and screaming?

    PS The Amazon CEO no doubt has a palatial office and an army of lackeys to keep the plebs at bay. I don’t think his work experience is typical.

    1. Bbuckley

      Re: Absolute joker

      No he works permanently from one of his many homes. Unless he is going into space in his willy space rocket with his rich friends.

  27. Doctor Tarr

    Change if it's that bad

    Reading through the comments it feels like the majority of commentards really don't like working with others in their companies or don't like (even hate) their jobs. If it's that bad stop moaning and go so something that makes you happy(ier).

    WFH can be really beneficial to both employees and employers. It's also not unreasonable that a company would want you in the office for a couple of days a week if you were full time in the office before the pandemic.

    1. GuldenNL

      Re: Change if it's that bad

      "It's also not unreasonable that a company would want you in the office for a couple of days a week if you were full time in the office before the pandemic."

      Why?

      "Because it was stupid before, we should keep doing stupid!"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Change if it's that bad

        "Because it was stupid before, we should keep doing stupid!"

        But, it's not stupid to spend time with people who you're working with to deliver a common objective. In any case, if you think it's stupid take your skills elsewhere.

        1. GuldenNL

          Re: Change if it's that bad

          Mmmm hmmm. Been in a modern office lately? People in cubicles on the phone or Teams meetings with coworkers and customers outside of the office.

          Just brilliant.

          1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

            Re: Change if it's that bad

            Exactly.

            My team is located in 5 different towns all over Europe, and we are mostly interacting with people at 20+ locations, again all over Europe.

            So, most of our exchanges, whether at the office or at home, are done using Teams or the like.

            No point in coming at the office to work from an open space where people are (jokingly) complaining of hearing me in all Teams meetings because my voice, even when speaking softly, has a great range...

        2. Bbuckley

          Re: Change if it's that bad

          It is stupid and you don't get to tell anyone to bring their skills elsewhere. Why don't you bring your skills and opinion elsewhere.

    2. marcxm

      Re: Change if it's that bad

      Just ask yourself WHY? IF you are doing the same, good job remotely, why on earth would you need to be there physically? This makes absolutely no sense! all of this bullshit talk about cooperation and shit makes no sense. Most people clearly hate to work face to face and this makes them less productive. Research suggests people are more productive i WFH scenario.

      It's really NOT about employees. It's about micromanagement of the employer, who does not have ANY metric to measure productivity and the actual output of the work.Do you think it will change with employees on site? LOL.

      FIRE INEFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT. Get the one that knows how to measure productivity no matter how and where it occurs.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Working together in the same offie also builds a better bond..."

    Not a bad idea, probably cheaper than the pub ?

    1. that one in the corner Silver badge

      The offie is a natural fit for the morning Scrum Standup meeting. The pub should be reserved for afternoon planning sessions (coasters are convenient stand-ins for the Kanban)

  29. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

    I guarantee

    my productivity will drop if I'm forced back to the office. Everyone who wants to continue working from home, your producticity should also drop. They want 2 more hours a day for commuting, they pay for it in less work being done. I, for one, will make it a point to faff off 2 hours a day during the paid time to make up for the part of my day taken by the commute. And I don't care about the beforetimes when commuting was normal - WFH is now normal, and I for one won't give it up. As close as I am to retirement as I am now, the day they say return to office I may just drop off my laptop.

  30. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
    Coat

    the intended consequences

    are described there

  31. tiggity Silver badge

    I'm fortunate that we have paid off our mortgage (partner has taken early retirement already)

    Took current role in lockdown with proviso that it would continue to be mainly remote (as I live in the sticks and office is a nasty commute by car and total nightmare by public transport (shame as I prefer public transport) & so not viable for me to be in the office often).

    I'm able to have dedicated, quiet space to work in with decent sized desk, lots of room for multiple screens & computers in my home.

    WFH more productive as less interruptions & less tired as no tiring commute (as you get older an arduous commute can be surprisingly mentally draining compared to when young).

    I do go to the office occasionally - just to "face to face" with colleagues - these are far less productive than WFH (open plan hot desk offices so noisily disruptive) but useful to have those "social in person meetups" now and again.

    If I had to be in the office regularly I would hand in my notice (but many people don't have luxury of being able to do that) as I could get a low paid, low hassle "local" job stacking supermarket shelves or similar & we would get by OK financially - but realise most people would not have that luxury & would have to stay for a while until they found a new role.

    .. But, years ago when in cramped rented shared accommodation, WFH would have been a PITA as little space, rowdy flatmates etc and so office would be more productive, so for some regular office a great option (& like many, have found it possible to be friends with some colleagues over the years, not just acquaintances).

    A good employer should be aware of differing levels of enthusiasm for the office based on personal situation and deal with it, not try a one size fits all approach

  32. Bbuckley

    Oh and please ignore the massive layoffs that we have just made. Really. These FAANG companies are nothing but narcissist psycho abusers with this BS. Time to bid adieu to the FAANG, it was good while it lasted. here is a prediction. In 2033 there will be no such thing as 'Amazon'.

  33. marcxm

    Dumb and illogical. Micromanagers

    Stupid management excuses to micromanage people, because they don't know how to measure the output of the work. Uneducated fools.

    Why don't they just ASK people if they want to go on site or work remotely? If someone suffers in WFH scenario, they will be more than happy to return on site, don't they?

    But no, instead it needs to be forced upon EVERYONE, just because management doesn't know how to measure productivity and output of the work.

    It specifically hurts introverts, which are minority, but still the most productive minority ...

    Let's say you put everyone in a cellar and tell them to work from there. That would be bad, right? sure.

    Yet, if it comes to putting everyone on site in an office it's suddenly good for everyone.

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