Amazon’s TOT policy, otherwise known as Time Off Task, is the company’s way of ensuring productivity and accountability among many of its employees. And unfortunately for Amazon, there has been quite a lot of backlash against the company because of its TOT policy.
In this article, we are going to do a deep dive into Amazon’s TOT policy and the exact meaning of TOT at Amazon so you understand the pros and cons of Amazon’s efficiency approach.
TOT at Amazon means Time Off Task, which is Amazon’s attempt to increase productivity and efficiency in its warehouses. Every employee is required to clock out when taking any kind of break from production, including phone calls, bathroom breaks, or even when waiting for a machine to turn on.
There is a lot to understand about TOT at Amazon, but luckily, we have all the information you need to know right here.
Whenever an employee starts their shift at an Amazon warehouse and in some of their offices, they are automatically added to Amazon’s tracking and termination process.
This automated system tracks each individual employee’s productivity and signs them out whenever production is paused, even for a minute. Then, they are clocked back in when production or work begins again.
This includes bathroom breaks, personal phone calls, or any time that an employee steps away from their workstation.
The system generates and sends a warning if too many breaks are taken throughout the shift, and it can even lead to an automatic termination if an employee is clocked out for more than two hours.
Supervisors can override the warnings and even termination for extenuating circumstances.
How Long Is TOT at Amazon?
The length of TOT at Amazon is not set in stone; it can vary from day to day, the employee’s position, and the production needs of the day.
For example, on a busy day, the minimum TOT at Amazon could be less than 6 minutes, whereas, on a slow day, it could be more than half an hour.
However, in general, any TOT over two hours will lead to automation termination of the employee unless it is excused by a supervisor.
Amazon absolutely tracks Time Off Task, and it does so down to the second.
As you know, TOT is tracked any time an employee takes a break from work; however, it also tracks each employee’s productivity.
For example, if an employee typically or is expected to scan one hundred items an hour, but the system shows they are only scanning fifty items during one hour, they can be penalized with a TOT warning.
Unless the supervisor overrides the warning due to unforeseen circumstances, that employee could be fired for lack of efficiency.
You can get fired for Time Off Task at Amazon for a variety of reasons.
The TOT system can automatically terminate any employee if they receive several warnings for taking too many breaks or even a lack of efficiency.
Also, if your TOT reports more than two hours clocked out on any day, you could be automatically and immediately fired.
If you are an Amazon employee and watch to check your TOT in order to ensure you will not be issued a warning or, worse, an automatic termination, there are two ways to do so.
- You can log in with your employee ID on your smartphone (although you can’t have a cell phone at your station so you’ll have to do so on break.)
- You can ask your supervisor for your TOT of the day.
Although technically you are clocked out during TOT, you don’t need to actually sign out in order for the time to begin clicking.
TOT at Amazon begins the second after you scan an item or complete a task, and you are clocked back in when the next scan or task is completed.
If you know when your last assignment was completed, you can also do the math yourself to find out how long you’ve been TOT.
Amazon employees are generally pretty unhappy with the TOT policy at Amazon. Over the past few years, there have been several articles and news reports showcases Amazon employees who have been fired because of TOT.
If you work at Amazon and you want to try to cheat the Time Off Task system, there is really only one way to do so.
Have a fellow employee work at your station. Because TOT is clocked when you are away from your station or not working, the easiest way to cheat the system is to have a coworker scan items from your station while you’re away.
This could still cause some TOT because they will be slower attempting to do two jobs, but it will only show low productivity, not time away.
The only other option is to make friends with your supervisor and ensure they override any warnings you get for Time Off Tasks.
With all the backlash over the past few years, Amazon is publicly addressing their Time Off Task policy, and some say it’s actually changing and is now much better for employees.
Instead of getting a warning for too much TOT in one day, the time frame is longer, which means if you have one day with several breaks and low productivity, but are on the ball the rest of the week, you will not receive a TOT warning.
Amazon hopes that this will encourage employees to take more bathroom breaks and generally be happier to work at Amazon, reducing their high turnover rate and public complaints.
The Amazon TOT policy has received a lot of backlash recently. The policy states that any time spent not working will be clocked, including bathroom breaks, phone calls, or even time spent waiting for your next project. Technically, the allowed TOT time changes daily, two hours is the daily maximum.
Welcome to CompanyScouts! I am Jake, the founder of CompanyScouts. I hold an Msc in Economics and Business Administration. With a deep interest in the consumer segment, I strive to help people get to know their favorite companies even better.