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The Company That Took Remote Work By Storm Is Telling Employees to Return to the Office Zoom announced that workers living within 50 miles of a company office must go in at least two days a week.

By Madeline Garfinkle Edited by Jessica Thomas

Key Takeaways

  • Zoom's meteoric rise during the pandemic led to substantial profits, but its fortunes waned as remote work norms shifted back to office settings.
  • The company is adopting a hybrid work model requiring an in-person presence for employees near offices to boost team interaction and innovation.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When the Covid-19 lockdown drove workers from all corners of the globe out of the office and into their homes, Zoom, the video conferencing platform, aided the wide-reaching shift and experienced skyrocketing profits. However, as Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted over the past two years and employees funneled back into the office, Zoom's reign came to a standstill. Now, the company that became the unofficial symbol of remote work is requiring employees to return to the office.

On Friday, Zoom announced that it is implementing a hybrid work model requiring employees who live within 50 miles of a company office to work in person at least two days a week. The company said it hopes the move will enhance interaction and innovation within teams.

"We believe that a structured hybrid approach is most effective for Zoom," a spokesperson for Zoom said in a statement to Insider. "As a company, we are in a better position to use our own technologies, continue to innovate, and support our global customers."

Related: Elon Musk Says Remote Work Is 'Morally Wrong,' Calls It 'Messed Up'

Although Zoom has been around since 2012, it experienced a six-fold surge in its stock value in 2020 as the pandemic caused increased demand. However, its stock plummeted towards the end of 2021, and the company's market value has contracted by more than $100 billion since the 2020 peak, according to Insider. As of Monday morning, Zoom stock is down by nearly 40% compared to the same period last year.

In January 2022, only 2% of Zoom's workforce worked in offices, while the rest operated remotely. With more than 8,400 global employees, the company has offices in San Jose, California, and Denver, Colorado, as well as international locations.

Still, Zoom's overall mission emphasizes the significance of flexible work arrangements. A survey by Zoom highlighted that 43% of workers consider flexible work a fundamental expectation rather than a perk, and 70% would contemplate changing jobs for a more flexible work environment.

On the other end of the spectrum, some companies push for in-person work arguing that it leads to more productivity and useful collaboration.

A survey from CNBC and Survey Monkey conducted in May found that 56% of respondents believe those who work in person are more likely to "advance further" than remote and hybrid workers.

Related: Google Wants Employees Back in the Office, Considering 'Attendance' in Performance Reviews

Madeline Garfinkle

News Writer

Madeline Garfinkle is a News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

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