Quite a symbol. According to information revealed on August 5 by the Business Insider news site, the videoconferencing giant Zoom has asked its employees living near the company’s headquarters to return to the offices. In detail, all employees within 80 km of a Zoom office are invited to work face-to-face at least two days a week. A surprising decision to say the least, as the brand took center stage from the first days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Zoom therefore gives in to the sirens of hybrid work. Understand: partly face-to-face and partly remote. “We believe that [such] a hybrid approach is most effective for [our company]. As a company, we are in a better position to use our own technologies, continue to innovate and support our global customers,” said a spokesperson in a press release quoted by our colleagues. “We will continue to leverage the entire Zoom platform to keep our dispersed employees and teams connected and working efficiently.”

A turnaround since, for a time, Zoom had raised the issue of permanent telework. The new policy is due to come into effect between August and September, the BBC said.

The fact remains that this change in human resources policy goes against the composite portrait of the company’s employees. According to a Wall Street Journal estimate from September 2022, 75% of Zoom employees live remotely. Only 1% of employees were present on a “regular” basis in the offices.

With the end of the pandemic, employees around the world have returned to their offices. At the same time, Zoom’s competitors have developed at breakneck speed, such as Google (Meet) or Microsoft (Teams). The tech giants are constantly improving their videoconferencing tool. When the company’s stock hit $560 in 2020, it’s now “only” about $70. At the same time, Zoom carried out a social plan leading to the dismissal of 15% of its employees last February.