How do you get workers back in the office?

It was a little over two years ago that workers, especially IT workers, were told to leave their offices and go home to work because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since that time, numerous companies have been calling workers back to their offices. Some companies were back in the office before the end of 2020. But some larger employers, especially tech giants, have only recently called workers back.

Those companies have been the focus of the media.

For example, in March, Newsweek proclaimed the Great Return had followed the Great Resignation and the Great Retirement. They based that proclamation on the fact that Citigroup, BNY Mellon, Google, and Twitter, among other big names, were calling workers back to the offices that month.

The Newsweek story noted that many of the big companies are offering some form of flexible work schedule, with varying hybrid models for office and remote schedules.

According to the article, “The decision to offer flexible schedules reflects the reality of a job market where millions of workers have quit their jobs in recent months seeking either higher pay, better benefits or more control over their daily lives.”

Nobody bothers to ask workers how they feel about orders to move back to their offices and cubicles, with once exception.

Apple had already told its workers that they would have to report to the office one day a week beginning last month, with the in-office requirement increasing to three days a week late this month. And, according to Fortune, Apple workers are fuming.

The magazine reported that “A sizable number of workers—56%—claimed they are looking to leave Apple expressly because of its office requirement. It’s unclear how many actually will carry through.”

Maybe Apple had ignored an article Fortune had published a month earlier, headlined “4 keys to getting workers to return to the office after COVID,” which advised companies to make the office a place that workers want to report to.

And maybe, just maybe, management in all of these companies is just ignoring advice from the ultimate authority on making office work enjoyable – the office doughnut.

In a Wall Street Journal piece, the office doughnut tells columnist Jason Gay that he and his pals are simply the offer that workers cannot refuse. He claims that management is focusing on all the wrong things, such as “Teamwork. Wellness. All this mumbo-jumbo about ‘reimagining the modern workplace.’”

But it’s really the office doughnut that can draw reluctant workers back to the office. Sure, you can buy your own doughnuts and eat them while you work from home, “But we both know it’s not the same thing as an office doughnut,” said the office doughnut.

“So let’s get real about the return to the office,” said the office doughnut. “Work from home is mostly delightful. You avoid the commute, traffic and all those in-person meetings which never made any sense. It’s made you happy. But not as happy as an office doughnut.”

Are you offering office doughnuts to lure IT workers back to your office? Using some other enticement? Let us know, and maybe we’ll bring the doughnuts.