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The Seattle Times this morning reports that Amazon has announced to employees that it anticipates an autumn return to "an office-centric culture as our baseline."  An office-centric model, the company said, "enables us to invent, collaborate, and learn together most effectively."

The internal memo is clear evidence that Amazon does not plan to embrace a hybrid workplace model.

The Times writes that "it had seemed unlikely Amazon would allow employees to stay away from the office permanently. Amazon continued to expand its office footprint during the pandemic, and executives preach a culture of in-person collaboration within 'two-pizza teams' — groups small enough to be fed with two pizzas."

KC's View:

In the big picture, this isn't just about Amazon.

Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood has been the site not just of Amazon's extraordinary physical expansion, but also the growth of many supporting businesses that depend on accessibility to people in order to survive.  And that bleeds over into much of downtown Seattle, which has had an extraordinarily tough time over the past year or so.

By bringing people back to the office, Amazon is throwing those businesses a lifeline.