Zoom asks employees to RETURN TO OFFICE 3 years after start of pandemic
By Ramon Tomey // Aug 08, 2023

Video conferencing giant Zoom has urged employees to return to office work, three years after the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began.

The tech company is now requesting all employees within 50 miles of a company office to return to in-person work at least twice a week, following a hybrid schedule. Back in January 2022, Zoom said only two percent of its workforce worked in its offices. The company of more than 8,400 has offices in Denver and San Jose, California, as well as several international sites.

A company spokesperson said in a statement to Insider: "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. We'll continue to leverage the entire Zoom platform to keep our employees and dispersed teams connected and working efficiently."

According to CBS News, the return-to-office (RTO) policy applies to its 7,400 workers who live near a company office. The new corporate policy, which takes effect immediately, "marks the end of a fully remote era" for Zoom. Despite this, there appears to be some leniency to the RTO policy – with the company continuing to hire top talent regardless of where potential employees are based.

Zoom's shares skyrocketed in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic forced millions of employees and students to work and attend classes online from their homes. The platform allowed people to connect with others over video chat as much of the world was stranded in their homes due to lockdowns. Zoom's emergence came amid the availability of other apps such as Skype and Microsoft Teams.

But toward the end of 2021, Zoom's stock took a nosedive – losing at least $100 billion in market value since then. It coincided with employees all over the world returning to in-person work and no longer requiring video conferencing. Continued RTO policies put in place by different firms have caused Zoom's stock to stagnate this year.

Other tech firms following suit with RTO policies

Zoom joins the growing list of companies ditching fully remote work setups in favor of either 100 percent face-to-face or hybrid arrangements. Search engine giant Google announced back in March 2022 that employees at its Bay Area offices and several other U.S. locations will officially be required to show up on April 4. (Related: Rise of remote work and decline of commuters contributing to San Francisco's "urban doom loop.")

According to Verge, the California-based tech giant expects most employees to be in the office approximately three days per week. Some may need to be on-site more than three days a week, while some would be remote full-time.

Lora Lee Erickson, a spokeswoman for Google, said the company would use the month of March to help transition employees to the new hybrid work arrangement. She added that workers who want more time before they return to the office can request an extension.

Over at Google's Mountain View site, the company has advertised its on-campus hotel offering $99 per night rates to help remote employees transition into a hybrid working schedule. Promotional materials sent to staffers tout the hotel as allowing "an extra hour of sleep" and "less friction" when getting to work. Breakfast is also available for employees staying at the hotel.

The advertised rate for the hotel is definitely cheaper than others. Four-star hotels near Google's office cost between $120 and $250 per night. However, the $99 per night rate at the company hotel will only last until Sept. 30.

Visit BigTech.news for more stories about Zoom and other technology firms.

Watch this video about San Francisco's commercial real estate vacancy rate breaching the 30 percent mark, thanks to remote working.

This video is from the WhatsInRoom101 channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Wave of empty office buildings about to take down the commercial real estate sector as more companies default.

Tech companies amass large portfolios of new properties during pandemic.

Coronavirus batters New York City's luxury real estate market.

Sources include:

FoxBusiness.com

CBSNews.com

TheVerge.com

MSN.com

Brighteon.com



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