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Monday, May 20, 2024

Zoom, which helped millions work from home during the pandemic, is requiring employees return to the office

Zoom, which helped millions work from home during the pandemic, is requiring employees return to the office

Employees who live near a Zoom location must be on-site two days a week, a company spokesperson said. A “hybrid approach” is most effective for Zoom, she said, because it will be in “a better position to use our own technologies, continue to innovate and support our global customers.”
The company’s eponymous video-conferencing software was a breakout hit of the pandemic as entire industries were forced to communicate virtually. Since then, companies as varied as Amazon.com Inc., Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and BlackRock Inc. have increased the amount of time employees must spend on site.

Still, many offices remain lightly used, and there are signs that some roles may remain remote. Offices in the Northeast were only at peak capacity 24% of the time in the first half of the year, according to data from Basking.io, a workplace-occupancy analytics company. Listings for remote jobs have also trended up in many cities.

Zoom itself has struggled to keep growing in a post-pandemic world. While its share price quintupled from March to October 2020, the stock has since retreated to pre-pandemic levels. In an effort to resuscitate growth, Zoom is developing a wider suite of software tools for big businesses, including in-office collaboration products. It has invested in startup Anthropic to include artificial intelligence in its software for managing and automating customer service requests.

Insider earlier reported Zoom’s new office policy.

While many chief executives want employees back five days a week, “I think the hybrid work is going to stay,” Chief Executive Officer Eric Yuan said during a May earnings call. “I think hybrid work does bring another kind of huge opportunity to us.”
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