In-office work on Fridays is increasingly becoming optional for lucky white collar workers

As long as people still get their work done in the time allotted — in-office or not — who cares whether they work on Fridays?

Haley LaFloure picked up a couple dozen doughnuts on the way to work.

She forgot it was Friday.

The surprise she’d planned for her colleagues turned out to be on her: The office was empty. Everyone else at the St. Louis investment firm where she works had decided to close out the week from home, which meant LaFloure was stuck at her desk with enough sugary fried dough to last her a month.

“I don’t even like doughnuts,” the 25-year-old said. “I sat down and was like, ‘What am I going to do with these?’ ”

As white-collar workers across the country settle into hybrid work routines, one thing is becoming clear: Nobody wants to be in the office on Fridays.

The last day of the workweek, once synonymous with long lunches and early departures, has increasingly become a day to skip the office altogether. The trend, which was already brewing before the pandemic, has become widely adopted, even codified, in recent months and is creating new challenges for employers.

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