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Some Amazon employees may not be returning to their office for another five months following the latest guidance set out by the company.

As The Seattle Times reports, the updated guidance of no return to work until Oct. 2 is mainly aimed at Amazon’s corporate employees, but states specifically that it relates to any “employees who work in a role that can effectively be done from home.” A company spokesperson also confirmed that, “We are working hard and investing significant funds to keep those who choose to come to the office safe through physical distancing, deep cleaning, temperature checks, and the availability of face coverings and hand sanitizer.”

By limiting the number of employees returning to the office, Amazon’s job of not spreading infection is made much easier. Amazon also runs AWS, one of the largest cloud computing infrastructures in the world, so if it can’t effectively manage a workforce from home, something is going wrong.

The biggest losers in Amazon’s decision to extend the work from home period for so long will be the small businesses that catered to the needs of those employees while at work. For example, the restaurants and stores located around Amazon’s Seattle hometown where it has more than 45,000 employees.

The new guidance follows news that Amazon is spending $4 billion in expenses to protect workers from COVID-19 while ensuring deliveries continue to flow to customers. The mix of much higher demand for online shopping, supply shortages, and warehouse workers contracting the virus have prompted Amazon to react with a massive investment.

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