Amazon held an all-hands meeting where head of Amazon's cloud computing business Adam Selipsky told workers that they had to come back but could not given them any hard reason why it would be a good idea.
According to the Seattle Times, he told staff stories about how returning to the office created something magical called “serendipity.”
Over the course of the year, “just think about … the serendipitous things that can happen,” Selipsky said.
Although serendipity appeared all he had to offer “Actual data … it’s very hard to come especially “any data that I think would stand scrutiny.”
But for some Amazon employees, "serendipity" isn't enough. In fact avoiding the use of management terms like serendipity is precisely the sort of reason that they want to stay at home where they can do some work or something else more important.
The concept that innovation only happens on a middle manager’s white board in a meeting of bored workers has left some workers feeling demoralised, distracted and undervalued as they struggle to stay focused and motivated.
Mike Hopkins, senior vice president at Prime Video and Amazon Studios, told employees at another all-hands meeting that the return to office is working, according to a copy of his remarks Amazon shared with The Times. "I don't have data to back it up, but I know it's better..."