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"Time Off Task": Amazon Changes Its Key Productivity Metric

The e-retailer has been using complicated algorithms to keep track of the productivity of its workers across its facilities.

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Amazon has chosen to prolong the duration over which the average of ‘time off task’ is determined. The e-retailer has been using complex algorithms to keep track of the productivity of its workers across its facilities. As a result, this has led to huge pressure on its workers who have to explain why they have been absent from their workstations every time. During this pandemic, rate and TOT policies at Amazon have made some workers feel like they don’t have the time to wash their hands, sanitize their workstations, or socially distance themselves at work.

Workers have complained that the company measures productivity and the extreme pace of work puts an unnecessary burden on them, making their work unsafe and causing stress injuries.

As a response to such complaints, amazon in its blog post has announced that it has stopped giving productivity and rate feedback and has stopped all disciplinary actions related to rates or time off task that workers take to use the bathroom, sanitize their workstations, or social distance.

This means workers can do those things without worrying about receiving any manager feedback, any warnings, or any write-ups because of the worker's TOT or rates. According to Amazon’s policy, Amazon shouldn’t fire you for slow rates or for TOT related to the things they need to do to keep yourself safe at work.

Amazon says that it made these changes back in March, but did not do a good job of sharing this information with the people who need it the most, the workers



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