The remote work revolution is officially dead: Zoom just told employees to return to the office.

  • Zoom is asking some employees to come back to the office regularly.
  • The move is surprising given how much the company benefitted from remote work.
  • Last year, Zoom said less than 2% of its workforce would work from an office.

The revolution in remote work is officially over.

Zoom, one of the primary enablers and beneficiaries of remote work, has simply requested that its employees return to the office. Those living within 50 miles of a Zoom office must now work there at least two days per week, according to the company.

“We believe that a structured hybrid approach – meaning employees who live near an office need to be onsite two days a week to interact with their teams – is most effective for Zoom,” said a spokesperson in a statement. “As a company, we are better positioned to use our own technologies, continue to innovate, and support our global customers.”

Many businesses have begun to require office work this year, but Zoom’s decision is surprising given the role its technology plays in remote work. During the pandemic, the company’s video-conferencing service became so common that its name became a verb describing the act of starting a video chat to connect with coworkers online.

Zoom shares increased at least sixfold in 2020 as COVID-19 kept millions of workers at home and sales increased. However, by 2021, revenue growth had slowed and the stock had plummeted. Since then, the company’s market value has dropped by at least $100 billion. This year, the stock has remained flat as more businesses return employees to the office and Zoom’s video-conferencing service is used less.

Zoom’s marketing materials continue to imply that flexible work is nearly as important as monetary compensation.According to a Zoom survey, 43% of workers believe flexible work is not a perk but a basic expectation, and 70% would consider leaving their current job for a more flexible working environment.

Zoom stated last year that less than 2% of its employees would work from an office. “We’ll continue to leverage the entire Zoom platform to keep our employees and dispersed teams connected and working efficiently,” said a spokesperson.

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