News 24 August 2023

Zoom CEO says employees must return to office as you can’t be innovative on Zoom

24 August 2023

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan has reportedly informed employees that the company plans to send some workers back to the office regularly, citing limitations in building trust and fostering innovation through remote work.

A leaked meeting recording revealed that employees living within 50 miles of a Zoom office must work there at least two days a week.

Yuan emphasised that building trust among employees is challenging in a remote environment and trust is crucial for effective collaboration.

He said, “In our early days, we all knew each other. Over the past several years, we’ve hired so many new ‘Zoomies’ that it’s really hard to build trust. Trust is a foundation for everything. Without trust, we will be slow.

“Quite often, you come up with great ideas, but when we are all on Zoom, it’s really hard. We cannot have a great conversation. We cannot debate each other well because everyone tends to be very friendly when you join a Zoom call.”

These comments and the decision to return employees to offices appear counterintuitive given Zoom’s role in facilitating remote work.

Despite the move, Zoom’s approach seems less stringent than other companies’ mandates. Yuan indicated that exceptions could be considered, making the return-to-office policy somewhat flexible.

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