The company that helped institute remote work as a viable career option is ironically cracking down on the practice.
- As of January 2022, only 2% of Zoom employees worked in the office. The company is now requiring employees near the headquarters to report to the office two days per week.
- In a statement to Business Insider, Zoom defended the hybrid mandate as a structured approach that is most effective for the company’s efficiency and innovation.
- In February, the company was one of many tech companies to engage in layoffs, cutting 15% or 1,300 staffers after growing too quickly during COVID.
Why It’s Important
Zoom was one of the fastest-growing companies in the world during the pandemic, rapidly surpassing Skype as the most popular and effective means of communication and video chatting in professional settings. The platform was widely adopted by corporations, schools, and governments as an alternative to meeting in person during COVID.
However, the company is vulnerable to all the same forces in the market as other companies. Corporations argue that remote work is a net negative. Companies have been pushing back against remote work since last year, with many large corporations attempting to enforce mandatory return-to-office mandates after the Labor Day 2022 weekend. This attempt largely failed, with employees pushing back or quitting their jobs for other remote opportunities.
“As a company, we are in a better position to use our own technologies, continue to innovate, and support our global customers. We’ll continue to leverage the entire Zoom platform to keep our employees and dispersed teams connected and working efficiently,” says Zoom. “We believe that a structured hybrid approach—meaning employees that live near an office need to be onsite two days a week to interact with their teams—is most effective for Zoom. As a company, we are in a better position to use our own technologies, continue to innovate, and support our global customers.”
Backing Up A Bit
As we previously reported, many critics claim that remote work harms startups, career prospects, the real estate market, productivity, company cohesion, teamwork, and mentorship opportunities and limits small talk and connections between employees.
However, defenders argue that remote work is both popular and beneficial. They say that it improves morale, decreases commuting, gives workers more leisure time, decreases corruption, increases birthrates, increases productivity, and is not likely to go away. Many leading analysts believe that remote work and hybrid work are the future of several industries.
A recent study from recruiting company Greenspace finds that 76% of employees say they will actively search for another job if they are forced to return to the office. Another study from Unispace argues that remote work is unlike to go away, with recruitment specialist Kathleen Quinn Votaw saying, “You can’t put the genie back in the bottle.”