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Amazon backflips on return to work plan as team leaders take the reign

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Working remotely a dream no more, as e-commerce giant Amazon asks corporate staff to make an effort to return to the office.

Corporate Amazon employees to the office

Amazon is leaving it up to team managers to decide how often their employees come in to work when offices reopen next year.

CEO Andy Jassy said Amazon found it couldn’t have a “one-size-fits-all approach”, with flexible working to stay beyond the pandemic.

‘We’re going to be in a stage of experimenting, learning, and adjusting for a while as we emerge from this pandemic,’ Jassy wrote in a memo addressed to employees.

The decision comes after the e-commerce giant axed it original plan for corporate staff to return to offices for a 3-day week, by January 3 2022.

But their new approach doesn’t come without a few ground rules, with employees expected to attend in-person meetings.

‘At this stage, we want most of our people close enough to their core team that they can easily travel to the office for a meeting within a day’s notice.’

This expectation therefore crushes the dreams of employees who may have wished to work remotely on an international scale.

High-performing staff already employed to fulfil a work-from-home position are exempt from this rule, but will see their workload cut significantly.

This means that those who want to work from a remote location will only be able to do so for up to four weeks a year.

A hybrid approach

While Amazon employees are expected to make an effort to come into the office, Jassy doesn’t anticipate that all staff will return full-time.

He says that team leaders may choose to have their staff working from home on an almost regular basis, while others may follow a hybrid model.

“It depends on what will be most effective for our customers,” Jassy says.

“[Additionally], we will all continue to be evaluated by how we deliver for customers, regardless of where the work is performed.”

Hundreds of thousands of Amazon’s 1.3 million employees will learn about what is expected of them before January 3 next year.

Meanwhile, Amazon will continue to monitor the rapidly changing dynamic of the pandemic to assess what will help the company uphold their unique customer experience.

“With lots of invention and change in front of us, you can bet that we will continue to adjust as we keep learning what makes most sense for our customers and teams.”

Written by Rebecca Borg

Business

Billionaire boss pays for staff holiday to Disney

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The happiest place on earth became home to the happiest staff on earth after a boss paid for a company break

Ken Griffin is the billionaire boss who booked out an entire Disney World for his staff to cap off a successful year.

Mr Griffin is the Chief Executive at Citadel LLC—a multinational hedge fund and financial services company.

He paid for his staff to visit Walt Disney World in Florida for an all-inclusive weekend away.

“We have built the most extraordinary team not only in our history, but also in the history of finance,” he said.

Around 10,000 people attended the three-day celebrations, including families of Griffin’s staff.

He paid for airfares, hotels, parking tickets, meals and entry into the happiest place on earth.

According to The New York Post, the mega-rich boss said the company has lot to look forward to.

“We have an incredible future ahead of us—and I look forward to the chapters yet to be written.”

A range of musical acts also performed, including Coldplay, Carly Rae Jepsen and DJ Diplo, as part of the weekend of celebrations.

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Business

How did Musk lose his title as the world’s richest person?

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Elon Musk has briefly lost his title as the world’s richest person

This is all following a steep drop in the value of his stake in Tesla and his $44 billion purchase of Twitter.

Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH, which includes luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, briefly took over the title, with a personal wealth of $185 billion.

Musk has held the top position since late 2021, but has seen his wealth drop, as Tesla investors are worried that he is focused more on Twitter than the electric vehicle company.

Tesla has lost nearly half of its market value and Musk’s value has fallen approximately $70 billion since he made a bid for Twitter back in April.

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Business

Europe plans to bar Meta from using your personal data 

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Europe plans

Europe plans to bar Meta from using your personal data in major ruling

Meta will require permission from its users to serve advertisements based on their personal data, if a confidential EU privacy body has its way.

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has issued the agency that overseas Meta one month to issue the ruling.

This is yet another blow for Meta. The company makes around 98% of its revenue from advertising, equating to $27.16 billion in the third quarter of 2022 alone.

Meta attracts advertisers due to its ability to specifically target users based on their geographical location, age, and interests. But the company has been forced to reduce a number of its targeting options recently.

This is to avoid advertisers from targeting users based on sexual orientation, health, religion, and a number of other personal characteristics.

But this recent move from the EDPB is just another blow for the social media giant. The company also having to weather Apple’s iOS 14 update that allowed users to opt out of off app tracking, further reducing the ability for advertisers to specifically target individuals with ads.

Providing users with further control over their personal data is another evolution in the data rights discussion. The issues has been raised in various articles and documentaries, including The Great Hack

If passed, Meta users will once again be faced with the million-dollar question. Would they prefer tailored ads or ads that may not be relevant?

While regulations around data privacy will continue to evolve, advertising will never cease. This is particularly true for Meta, which relies on advertising revenue for its existence.

By Dr Karen Sutherland, University of the Sunshine Coast and Dharana Digital 

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