Zoom to adopt hybrid working approach

Video teleconferencing software programme Zoom has announced that it is planning to introduce a hybrid approach as employees return to the workplace.

The platform will enable a strategic mix of remote and in-office work for its staff. This includes features like the Zoom Rooms Smart Gallery, which has been designed to create a more inclusive experience for both in-person and remote team members.

According to the business, it has been frequently engaging with employees regarding preparations for returning to the office, and has regularly updated them during bi-weekly meetings in order to create a safe space to express any concerns regarding future plans.

In addition, an internal poll found that only 1% of the workforce actually wants to return to the office full-time. More than half would like a hybrid approach, a quarter want to work from home permanently, and the rest said they mostly work remotely on a full-time basis already.

The organisation said that it is not going to rush reopening the offices and does not plan to open any of them until there is no longer a need for personal protective equipment and social distancing. Its office in Sydney, Australia was reopened this summer but was then temporarily closed due to an increase of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) cases in the area. It will be reopened again when it is safe.

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Kelly Steckelberg, chief financial officer at Zoom, explained that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to returning to the office, and senior leadership is listening to employees to understand their concerns and help guide plans.

“Any decision we make at Zoom ladders into one goal: maintaining a mutual sense of trust between leadership and employees, as higher trust leads to a happier, more productive workforce. We’re carefully listening and learning, but ultimately, our office reopenings will be one component of a flexible, hybrid approach,” she said.