Zoom is striving to better understand the nature of flexible work environments. In a recent move that surprised many in the workforce, Zoom joined other tech companies in a call for a return to the office (RTO). More specifically, Zoom’s RTO mandate was in the form of a “structured hybrid” work policy.
Thanks to the video conferencing software and digital collaboration products that Zoom offers, the company is known as a pioneering force in the world of flexible work — experiencing a rise in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan stated at the company’s annual conference Zoomtopia that the decision for the company to reintroduce in-person work was rooted in a desire to better understand and address the challenges of hybrid work environments.
“We had to put ourselves into your shoes,” Yuan said. “By doing this, we have dialed into the challenges you are facing.”
As reported by The Washington Post, this policy mandates employees living within a 50-mile radius of an office to return for two days a week, with the specific days determined by individual teams.
Despite this new policy, 65% of Zoom’s workforce are reported to still be working remotely — primarily because many don’t reside near a company office.
Zoom’s policy shift is part of a broader trend in the workforce, with many executives reevaluating their company’s remote work policies. While some firms advocate for the benefits of in-person collaboration, others have faced pushback from employees who value the flexibility of remote work.
The challenge for businesses like Zoom will be to understand and adapt to the growing list of flexible workplace needs, a trend that is likely to persist in the coming years. While Zoom’s main product is its video conferencing software, the company announced it is expanding its product offerings beyond webcams. At the recent Zoomtopia conference, the company introduced a collaboration tool called Zoom Docs, which is powered by an AI assistant that can help edit, summarize or query information.