According to a disclosed internal memo, Blue Origin, a space exploration company owned by Jeff Bezos, demanded employees return to the office five days per week, stating that the company is a “work-from-work company.” As you know, Blue is a telecommuting firm. According to an email obtained by Insider, we are a stronger team when we collaborate in person with our colleagues and are physically close to our projects and hardware.
The design and construction of rockets, engines, and space systems requires the hands-on participation of our engineers, functional support teams, and others. It is unknown who wrote the email or when it was sent to Blue Origin’s 3,500 employees. The successful company has offices on each coast. Nevertheless, many have been sparsely inhabited.
Employees in Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Reston, Virginia were instructed to report to the office every day of the week because desk occupancy rates need to improve. As more and more employees return to the office, enthusiasm and drive for our mission and goal attainment continue to increase. The memo stated that Blue Origin’s facilities in the Seattle metropolitan area, Florida, Texas, and Alabama’s Huntsville are at capacity or managing current space or parking constraints. Blue Origin representatives did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
Unexpected Policy Shift Contrary to Previous Assurances
A current employee told Insider that the five-day return-to-office mandate came as a surprise to workers, especially after Blue Origin’s senior VP of operations Mike Eilola told managers last year that the company had no plans to implement a one-size-fits-all RTO policy. Blue Origin’s policy on office work is more stringent than that of Bezos’s Amazon, which requires employees to be in the office three days per week.
The Mountain View, California-based tech giant rigorously enforced the mandate by tracking employee badge swipes, a move that angered employees, who believe they’re being treated like schoolchildren. Elon Musk has been an advocate for reporting to an office, directing Tesla employees to return to the office full-time in June 2022. Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg commented on return-to-work mandates on Wednesday, criticizing the Biden administration for dragging their feet in bringing federal agency employees back to work. The billionaire co-founder and CEO of the financial media company that carries his name added, “There should be no more excuses for empty offices.”