Amazon's new part-time tech teams will get full-time benefits

5 stunning stats on Amazon
5 stunning stats on Amazon

Could Amazon still be doing damage control when it comes to its work-culture reputation?

One year after the New York Times ran a damning exposé about what it's like to work at Amazon (AMZN), the company said it is experimenting with a new part-time program for technical teams.

In addition to attracting technical talent to the company, the pilot could also serve to play a role in changing the company's image after the Times investigation. The article painted a picture of ruthless and cut-throat company culture that left many stressed and burned out.

CEO Jeff Bezos fought back against the accusations. Jay Carney, Amazon's senior vice president for global corporate affairs, and Times executive editor Dean Baquet sparred over the accuracy of the reporting.

All of the workers on the part-time teams (including managers) will work 'core hours' on Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 2pm. The rest of the week, they'll have flexible hours and still get the same benefits as the company's full-time employees.

It's unclear what positions will make up Amazon's technical teams. The company has not responded to a request for comment.

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According to an event invite, Amazon is hosting a discussion next Thursday about "Reinventing the Work-Life Ratio for Tech Talent" in its Seattle headquarters.

The company said in the invite that it is looking to "create a work environment that is tailored to a reduced schedule and still fosters success and career growth ... the traditional full-time schedule may not be a 'one size fits all' model."

That could also help the company attract a more diverse workforce. In November 2015, the company also stepped up its parental leave benefits. While Amazon has yet to release its 2016 diversity numbers, data from July 2015 shows the company's global management is 24% female and 76% male. Just 4% of management is black and 4% is Hispanic.

While Amazon does offer part-time programs for other types of workers, this would be a first for technical job categories. It's also the first time that entire teams, including management, are made-up of part-time employees.

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