Zoom Implements Hybrid Work Model, Calling Staff Back to the Office.

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Zoom, the prominent video communications company, which experienced a surge in usage during the pandemic, has issued a directive for its employees to return to the office. The company asserts that a “structured hybrid approach” is most effective, indicating that individuals residing within 50 miles (80km) of an office should work in-person at least twice a week.

This decision reflects the broader trend among major corporations to scale back on remote work arrangements. Companies like Amazon and Disney have already curtailed remote working days for their employees.

Despite this shift, surveys indicate that a significant number of workers still value the flexibility to work from home to some extent. A Stanford University survey reveals that around 12% of US workers were fully remote in July, while an additional 29% followed hybrid work policies. This pattern mirrors similar findings from the UK’s Office for National Statistics earlier this year.

Prior to the pandemic, remote work comprised only about 5% of total workdays in the US. The Stanford research emphasizes the greater prevalence of remote work in English-speaking countries compared to Asia and Europe. Workers’ preference for flexible arrangements often differs from what employers deem ideal.

Zoom had previously indicated that remote work would be a permanent option for its staff. The company’s new policy, set to be implemented in August and September, will be phased in with a staggered timeline based on the country. Notably, Zoom plans to remain open to hiring talent globally, irrespective of location.

The decision to adopt a hybrid model, as reported by Business Insider, aims to enhance the company’s ability to leverage its own technologies, innovate, and provide support to its global clientele. This shift comes after only 1% of Zoom’s workforce had a regular office presence in September 2022, with 75% working remotely and the remaining employees following hybrid arrangements.

Zoom faces increased competition from rivals such as Microsoft, who are enhancing their video conferencing offerings amidst the expansion of remote work. The company’s growth has significantly decelerated since the pandemic’s peak. Earlier this year, it announced workforce reductions and major pay cuts for top executives. Currently, Zoom’s shares trade at approximately $68, a considerable drop from their peak value of over $500 in October 2020.

SOURCE: Ref Image from The Star

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