Jeff Bezos-owned Blue Origin demanded workers return to their offices five days a week, telling staffers the space exploration firm is “a work-from-work company,” according to a leaked internal memo.
“As you know, Blue is a work-from-work company. We are stronger as a team when we are collaborating with our co-workers in person and close to our projects and hardware,” the email memo obtained by Insider.
“Designing and building rockets, engines and space systems requires hands-on work from our engineers, functional support teams and more.”
It’s unclear who penned the email, or when it was sent to Blue Origin’s workforce of 3,500.
The high-flying company has offices coast to coast. However, many have been barely occupied.
Workers in Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Reston, Va., were told to start reporting to the office every day of the week because “desk occupancy rates need to improve.”
“As more and more employees come back to the office, the excitement and energy for our mission and achieving our goals continues to grow.”
The memo noted that Blue Origin offices in the Seattle area, Florida, Texas and Huntsville, Ala., are “at capacity” or “managing current space or parking constraints.”
Representatives for Blue Origin didn’t immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
The five-day return-to-office mandate came as a surprise to workers, a current employee told Insider, especially after Blue Origin’s senior VP of operations Mike Eilola told managers that the company had no plans to roll out a one-size-fits all RTO policy last year, according to another leaked memo obtained by the outlet.
“Blue is not implementing a defined hybrid work schedule for all employees because our business requirements, individual situations and work roles vary dramatically,” Eilola reportedly wrote.
Blue Origin’s crackdown on working from the office is more strict than at Bezos-founded Amazon, which requires staffers to work from an office three days a week.
Google also requires workers to show up at an office at least three times a week.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based tech giant strictly enforced the mandate by tracking employee badge swipes — a move that angered workers, who feel that “they’re being treated like schoolchildren.”
Elon Musk has been another champion for reporting to an office, ordering Tesla staffers back into the office full-time back in June 2022.
Musk tersely wrote to corporate staffers of the electric vehicle company at the time: “Anyone who wishes to do remote work must be in the office for a minimum (and I mean *minimum*) of 40 hours per week or depart Tesla. This is less than we ask of factory workers.”
“If there are particularly exceptional contributors for whom this is impossible, I will review and approve those exceptions directly,” Musk added. Moreover, the ‘office’ must be a main Tesla office, not a remote branch office unrelated to the job duties.”
On Wednesday, former New York City Mayor MIchael Bloomberg weighed in on return-to-work mandates, blasting the Biden administration for “dragging their heels” on getting federal agencies’ staff back to the office.
“The pandemic is over,” Bloomberg wrote in a scathing op-ed for the Washington Post.
“Excuses for allowing offices to sit empty should end, too,” added the billionaire co-founder and CEO of the financial media company that bears his name.
Source by [New York Post]