At the height of the pandemic, Zoom became a platform of global prominence. Everyone went “Zooming” when office life was temporarily impossible. By now, working from home is ingrained in many a company. However, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan thinks it’s better to come into the office more often anyway. Because, “remote work didn’t allow people to build as much trust or be as innovative,” he said in a leaked meeting.
The striking thing about this is that in terms of marketing, the conferencing platform actually insists on “connecting” with colleagues, which apparently does not put it on level terms with physical meetings in terms of overall effectiveness, according to Zoom. Previously, Yuan required employees within 50 miles of their office to make a visit at least two days a week. This was said to affect 7400 employees, according to The New York Times.
In the end, the decision did not come completely out of the blue. Yuan refers to the fact that Zoom has hired an awful lot of people: since the pandemic, the employee count has increased from 2,000 to 6,000. “Over the past several years, we’ve hired so many new ‘Zoomies’ that it’s really hard to build trust,” he said. Previously, Zoom employees all knew each other so this was not a problem, Yuan claimed.
Another problem cited by the Zoom CEO is that people stay very friendly during a video call, perhaps overly so. Thus, according to him, there aren’t any strong debates about the innovations that could take place within the company.
Discussion around hybrid work
There has been a discussion around home and hybrid work for some time. IBM CEO Arvind Krishna stressed the importance of career opportunities, which would be boosted by going to the office. Elon Musk was also critical of it: he called working from home “morally wrong“.
However, research showed that many IT leaders acted too quickly in returning to the office: gut feelings would have prevailed in several return-to-office mandates, Envoy’s findings showed.
Also read: “Offices will die out without accurate data”