Zoom ironically tells employees they need to come back to the office

Now that the post-Covid work-at-home trend is in full force, Zoom is having second thoughts when it comes to office policies of its own company — it is now telling most of its 7,400 employees to return to the office, at least part time.

"We believe that a structured hybrid approach — meaning employees that live near an office, need to be on site two days a week to interact with their teams — is most effective for Zoom," a company spokesperson said, via The New York Times. In other words, if an employee lives within 50 miles of a Zoom office, they need to show up in person at least twice a week — which is part of the company's new return-to-office policy they are about to implement.

Ironically, discussing the new plan with employees last week took place over Zoom.

From NYT:

…Zoom was also part of the remote work shift that it powered, with most of its employees permitted to work from home.

But now, joining a swell of other tech firms pushing for in-person work, Zoom is requiring many of its 7,400 employees to start showing up at the office. …

During a tense meeting last week about the return to office policy, held on Zoom, Eric Yuan, the chief executive, faced a series of questions from employees who expressed frustration about the time and money they'd waste while commuting, according to an employee who was at the meeting but was not authorized to speak publicly about internal company matters. …

Nick Bloom, a Stanford economist and expert on hybrid work, said the tech industry's move back to the office was no surprise given the amount these companies spend on office real estate.

Mr. Bloom said Zoom, for example, had all the downsides of fully remote work — some employees feeling disconnected — without the company seeing its financial upsides, like saving money on office space, because the company was still paying for Bay Area real estate and Bay Area employees. "They're paying for their office and hiring local people so they get no upside from being fully remote," Mr. Bloom said. "The most surprising thing to me was they took so long to formally announce this."