Zoom Video Communications, the popular video-conferencing software company, is implementing a new policy that requires employees to return to the office. According to a spokesperson for the company, employees who live near a Zoom location must be on-site for two days a week. The spokesperson stated that a “hybrid approach” is the most effective for Zoom as it allows the company to leverage its own technologies, continue to innovate, and support its global customers.
During the pandemic, Zoom’s video-conferencing software became a breakout hit as companies across various industries were forced to communicate virtually. However, as the world starts to transition back to in-person work, many companies, including Amazon.com and Blackrock, have increased the amount of time employees are required to spend on-site.
Despite this, there are indications that some roles may continue to be remote, and many offices are still being lightly used. Data from Basking.io, a workplace-occupancy analytics company, shows that offices in the northeast of the United States were only at peak capacity 24% of the time in the first half of the year. Additionally, there has been a noticeable increase in listings for remote jobs in many cities.
Zoom itself has faced challenges in sustaining its growth in a post-pandemic world. While its share price experienced a significant increase from March to October 2020, it has since retreated to pre-pandemic levels. In an effort to revive its growth, Zoom is working on developing a wider suite of software tools for big businesses, including collaboration products for in-office use. The company has also made investments in startup Anthropic to incorporate artificial intelligence into its software for managing and automating customer service requests.
During a May earnings call, Zoom’s CEO, Eric Yuan, expressed his belief that hybrid work is here to stay. While some chief executives may want employees back in the office five days a week, Yuan sees the hybrid work model as a significant opportunity for Zoom. He stated, “I think hybrid work does bring another kind of huge opportunity to us.”
As Zoom adjusts its strategy to adapt to the changing work landscape, it remains to be seen how the company will navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.