Patagonia has given some staff 3 days to decide whether they’ll relocate close to the office—or quit

As many as 90 Patagonia staff members could be let go from the company for living too far from its offices, after the sustainable outdoors brand ordered remote customer service staffers to relocate closer to the company’s seven centers—or quit.

The affected U.S staffers were given the ultimatum on Tuesday, with just a three-day deadline to decide whether they’d be willing to move across the country to keep their jobs.

Patagonia’s CX employees must now live within 60 miles of one of seven “hubs” in Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Reno, Dallas, Austin, Chicago, or Pittsburgh.

Workers were informed at Tuesday’s Town Hall meeting that the team is being moved to a new “hub” model, before being shut off from their company laptops and phones later that day. They were reportedly also told that a lack of response within the 72-hour time frame would essentially be translated to giving notice.

“It was very factual. If you don’t live in these seven metro areas, you either need to move there or give us your stuff and hit the brick,” one affected CX worker told Business Insider.

“If we don’t respond by Friday, they will assume that we have chosen the severance package and we’ll start that process.”

Other workers told BI that the severance package is generous; however, the proposition feels like they’re being “laid off” and they did not know anyone who was considering relocating.

Those who do choose to relocate must do so by Sept. 30 and have been offered $4,000 and extra PTO to help with the move. 

Patagonia hasn’t immediately responded to Fortune’s request for comment, however, a company spokesperson told Business Insider that 90 of 255 CX staff in the U.S. were affected and that several employees have already indicated they would relocate.

Relocation ultimatums aren’t common—or without risk

Relocation ultimatums were relatively unheard of before the pandemic. But businesses went on a hiring spree while many professionals were working from home and now many want them back in an office.

Although return-to-office mandates generally apply to those within a commutable distance of a company’s vertical tower, a few firms have gone one step further like Patagonia and asked staff to relocate in the name of collaboration.

The company hopes to bring staff together at the hubs at least once every six weeks for in-person trainings, company gatherings, or Activism Hours.

Amazon employees who were hired (or moved) during the pandemic were similarly told they would have to relocate closer to offices so they could meet the company’s three-day in-person requirement. Meanwhile, the gaming giant Roblox warned workers who can’t make it to the company’s physical office in California that they would have to find another job. Then there’s Walmart, which asked hundreds of employees to relocate to an entirely new city to comply with its RTO mandate. 

But such ultimatums aren’t without risk. 

In reality, professionals have more job options than they once did thanks to hybrid working. Now, research highlights that people aren’t willing to move house for their careers anymore and would even rather endure a “super commute” for a few days of the week to keep their after-work life in the suburbs.

Grindr’s executive team found out the hard way that staff can call their employer’s bluff. The dating platform lost almost half of its workforce in two weeks, including most of its engineering team, causing the company to reckon with technical issues as a result of its aggressive RTO order. 

Meanwhile, Twitter’s (now X) operations were once put at risk when more workers than expected chose the latter option in Elon Musk’s call to go “hardcore” or quit.

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