Zoom, of all companies, is calling back most of its 7,400 employees to work in its offices part-time starting this month, the New York Times reported.
Many tech companies discovered that they did not want their employees to be remote and not centralized, including Zoom, Nick Bloom, a Stanford economist and hybrid work specialist, told the Times.
“Zoom … 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,” Times reported.
Eric Yuan, Zoom’s chief executive, talked to upset employees who don’t want to waste time and money commuting, the Times reported.
“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 Zoom spokesperson said. “We’ll continue to leverage the entire Zoom platform to keep our employees and dispersed teams connected and working efficiently.”
Over 90 percent of employees who can do their jobs remotely desire flexible work options, according to Gallup.
Why it matters: Zoom, which built its platform around the ability to connect remotely, is taking measured steps. The company want to ensure that they don’t make any blunders in its return-to-work execution while avoiding potential employee fallout. Amazon’s corporate office faced issues in May with in-person work policies as hundreds of employees protested the announcement. Google faces backlash with its similar, albeit heavy-handed approach.
Zoom is hearing out its employees’ concerns and providing solutions to meet in the middle to mitigate any possible bad press that could impact their brand and reputation.
With remote and hybrid working levels well above what they were before the pandemic, Zoom wants to send an empathetic, yet clear message that it’s doing the best it can for the company’s success while addressing the needs of its employees.
Yuan said during a May earnings call that he was certain he knows where workplace flexibility was headed and the benefits it produced for the company.
“I think hybrid work is going to stay,” he said, the Times reported.
Bloom told the Times that, “The most surprising thing to me was they took so long to formally announce this.”
Making unpopular business decisions is never easy but ensuring your messaging is clear and concise can help everyone know where you stand and why along the way.
Editor’s Top Picks:
- The Jeep brand’s Jeep Graphic Studio is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the original “Jurassic Park” movie with 100 one-of-a-kind Jurassic Park vehicle wraps for Jeep’s Wrangler and Gladiator line. The wrapping features Jurassic Park logo graphics inspired by the 1992 Jeep Wrangler YJ Sahara vehicles in the original film. “It’s been remarkable to see the cultivation and evolution of both the Jeep brand and the Jurassic World franchise around the world,” Jim Morrison, senior VP and head of Jeep brand North America said in a press release. Cross-promotional branding like this keep nostalgic content fresh in the mind of consumers and inspires a new generation of dinosaur lovers.
- Gucci’s luxury brand is facing lagging sales and some stagnancy with customer growth. The high-fashion brand wants to show consumers its worth again with heavy advertising in magazines, billboards and on social media after Milan Fashion Week in September. This would boost sales and brand sentiments. Worldwide luxury group, Kering, “has a lot riding on the brand’s turnaround and is working furiously to convince shoppers to buy,” The Wall Street Journal reported. The Italian company is not exempt from branding issues, and it’s working overtime to win back the affection of a lukewarm audience. Gucci’s struggle is a reminder to always keep up with your audience’s changing needs and meet them there with relevant, inspiring comms.
- Elon Musk might need surgery before a tentative cage match with Mark Zuckerberg on Aug. 26. The social media titans agreed, sort of, to the match in June with, seemingly, some stalling from Musk who wants it to be streamed on X, formerly known as Twitter – yet the match date “is still in flux” due to a potential surgery, the Associated Press reported. Musk had an MRI of his neck and upper back and will confirm if he needs a procedure before the fight. Anticipation is building for this potential fight and bringing some brevity and lighthearted buzz to both platforms.
Sherri Kolade is a writer at Ragan Communications. When she is not with her family, she enjoys watching Alfred Hitchcock-style films, reading and building an authentically curated life that includes more than occasionally finding something deliciously fried. Follow her on LinkedIn. Have a great PR story idea? Email her at email@example.com.
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