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Amazon tells call center eyeing office closures: report

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Amazon is reportedly nudging customer support employees to earn a living from home because it looks to shut a few of its US-based offices as a part of a cost-cutting effort.

The e-commerce giant plans to shut down “multiple” call centers throughout the US in a bid to trim its real estate expenses, Bloomberg reported, citing sources accustomed to the matter. A call center in Kennewick, Wash., is claimed to be among the many locations tabbed for closure.

Amazon, which is valued at $1.17 trillion, didn’t comment on whether it plans to shut call centers. Nonetheless, an organization representative confirmed that Amazon is expanding distant work amongst its customer support employees.

“We’re offering additional members of our Customer Service team the increased flexibility that comes with working virtually,” Amazon spokesperson Brad Glasser said in a press release. “We’re working with employees to ensure their transition is seamless while continuing to prioritize best-in-class support for patrons.”

Customer support reps working in Amazon’s call centers represent a small portion of its overall workforce, in response to Bloomberg. The corporate has allowed some call center employees to earn a living from home since before the pandemic-era shift toward distant work.

Amazon isn’t requiring its employees to return to the office full-time.Getty Images

Amazon has greater than 1.5 million employees. Bloomberg noted the increased emphasis on distant work could help Amazon maintain staffing and recruit recent customer support employees, because the hiring pool would now not be anchored to offices.

While many firms have begun pushing their employees to return to the office a minimum of a number of days per week, Amazon recently gained attention for taking a more lenient approach.

Earlier this month, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said most of its employees have adopted a hybrid schedule that features days working from home – and the corporate doesn’t plan to require otherwise.

“We don’t have a plan to require people to return back,” Jassy said during an appearance at Code Conference, according to CNBC. “We don’t immediately. But we’re going to proceed adaptively as we learn.”

Meanwhile, the plan to shut call centers and reduce office expenses could hint at Amazon’s effort to enhance its balance sheet throughout the current economic downturn.

At the identical conference, Jassy indicated that Amazon would proceed hiring, but at a slower pace than it has in recent times.

Amazon has posted a net loss for 2 straight quarters because it contends with the impact of soaring inflation and a slowdown in sales.

“Despite continued inflationary pressures in fuel, energy, and transportation costs, we’re making progress on the more controllable costs we referenced last quarter, particularly improving the productivity of our achievement network,” Jassy said in Amazon’s second-quarter earnings release in July. 

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