Do you do your most innovative work over Zoom calls, or when you’re collaborating with colleagues face to face?
That’s a question plenty of Zoom staff have been asking after audio leaked of their chief executive, Eric Yuan, requesting employees to return to the office at least two days a week.
“Quite often, you come up with great ideas, but when you are all on Zoom, it’s really hard,” Yuan said in a 3 August meeting leaked to industry website, Insider.
“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,” he added.
It’s not an overly surprising attitude given Zoom nearly tripled in size during the COVID-19 pandemic – going from around 2000 staff to more than 6000 in 2022.
The Californian-based communications technology company was already well-known prior to this major event but the pandemic elevated it to a whole new level.
Ironic but Valid
And as ironic as it is to hear the head of a video conferencing firm say it’s hard to do their best work on the company’s own software, the tech founder touched on a few points many of us are familiar with.
“In our early years, we all knew each other,” Yuan said in the leaked audio.
“Over the last several years, we’ve hired so many ‘Zoomies’ that it’s hard to build trust.
“Trust is a foundation for everything. Without trust, we will be slow.”
So, is he right? Can you do your best work over Zoom?
Or was Yuan correct when he said “remote work doesn’t allow people to build as much trust or be as innovative?”
We work from home a couple of days a week at Hunt & Hawk – and the team loves the flexibility of hybrid work.
But there’s always a great vibe in the office when everyone comes in on a Monday morning. And it’s so cool to see everyone’s smiling faces to kick-start the working week.
So, the question is: Will anyone ever go back to working five days a week in the office? Or do we do our best work with a mixture of face to face and Zoom meetings?
Time will tell.
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