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Flexibility is the future -- and Amazon is embracing it. Over the next year, the company is going to create more than 5,000 work-from-home and part-time jobs, making a bold commitment to the idea that remote jobs work. The roles will be part of the company’s Virtual Customer Service program.
These work-from-home employees will even get benefits - as long as they work at least 20 hours per week. The company announced its plans on Thursday in a press release that states, “In addition to competitive wages, virtually-located employees who work 20 hours per week or more receive benefits, including the company’s innovative Career Choice program that pre-pays 95 percent of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether those skills are relevant to jobs at Amazon.”
According to the release, the new jobs Amazon’s creating are part of the company’s larger goal to bring on more than 30,000 part-time employees within the next year (in addition to more than 100,000 full-time jobs they intend to create in the U.S. over the next year-and-a-half). 25,000 of the new part-time roles will be for employees working in fulfillment centers to sort and consolidate customer packages.
“There are lots of people who want or need a flexible job—whether they’re a military spouse, a college student, or a parent—and we’re happy to empower these talented people no matter where they happen to live,” Tom Weiland, Amazon Vice President for Worldwide Customer Service, said in the release.
Sabrina Tierce, an Amazon Virtual Customer Service employee, explains in the release how much Amazon’s flexibility has helped her and her family, who relocated from central California to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State where her husband is stationed as an Army medic. “It’s amazing to have a job that offers me the flexibility to care for my child when needed and even to move around the country if we are relocated,” said Tierce. “My commute is about 15 paces. The worst part of my day is if there’s a Lego on the stairway, because that’s a rough commute to work.”
At Fairygodboss, where we’ve just launched a Work-Life Balance Guide that gives job seekers the inside scoop on companies’ flexibility policies, we’re very excited to hear about Amazon’s plans. Our research shows that flexibility is priority for many women when they’re considering a job, but hardly any companies are transparent about what kinds of flexible options they offer.
It’s uplifting to know that a company like Amazon -- which already employs 40,000 part-time workers in the U.S. -- is expanding upon its flexible offerings because company leaders have recognized how well these policies work. These positions may also improve Amazon’s employee reviews, since we’ve seen that women’s job satisfaction correlates directly with how much job flexibility they have. We hope that other companies will catch on -- or at the very least will be more transparent about what kinds of jobs they’re offering.
If you’re looking for a job that’ll improve your work-life balance, be sure to check out our new flexibility database -- and even if you’re not searching, help other women who are by sharing an anonymous tip on your company’s flexibility policy.
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