Amazon bucks remote working trend with office expansion plan

Firm's investment in 3,500 jobs and 85,000 square-metres of office space goes against the industry push for remote working

Amazon will invest $1.4 billion (roughly £1.1 billion) in creating 3,500 jobs in the US in addition to opening approximately 85,000 square-metres of additional office space.

The new tech and corporate roles will be created across six of the firm’s tech hubs in major cities across the US, including Dallas, Detroit, Denver, New York, Phoenix, and San Diego. 

Teams in these cities support a breadth of ventures across the company, including AWS, Alexa, advertising, and OpsTech, among other brands. The new roles will include positions such as cloud infrastructure architects, software engineers, data scientists, product managers and user experience designers. 

"People from all walks of life come to Amazon to develop their careers–from recent graduates looking for a place to turn their ideas into high-impact products, to veterans accessing new jobs in cloud computing thanks to our upskilling programs," said Amazon’s senior vice president for human resources, Beth Galetti.

"These 3,500 new jobs will be in cities across the country with strong and diverse talent pools. We look forward to helping these communities grow their emerging tech workforce."

The physical expansion of Amazon’s tech hubs and corporate offices comes at a time when remote working has been championed as the best means of maintaining productivity and safety during the coronavirus crisis. 

Several major tech companies have also committed to extending remote working through to July 2021 as a precautionary measure, including Google and Facebook, given the uncertain state of the pandemic in the US. 

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Companies such as Facebook have also begun a transition to some degree of permanent remote working, with some jobs advertised in future set to be remote-only.

In committing to opening 905,000 square-feet (roughly 85,000 square-metres) of office space, Amazon has bucked this trend, instead suggesting it would take its cue from law enforcement agencies once its remote working policy expires in January.

The largest addition to Amazon’s workforce will be 2,000 new jobs in Manhattan, where Amazon plans to open 630,000 square-feet (approximately 59,000 square-metres) of new offices.

Dallas will see the next largest expansion, with an additional 100,000 square-feet (roughly 9,300 square-metres) of physical space, in addition to 600 tech and corporate roles.

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