Zoom CEO Says Remote Work Over Zoom Makes It Hard to Build Trust, Which Is Different From What Zoom Says Publicly ⇥ businessinsider.com
Zoom CEO Eric Yuan told employees this month that the company was making the surprising decision to send some workers back to the office regularly because its flagship remote-work product didn’t allow employees to build as much trust or be as innovative as in the office, according to a leaked meeting recording viewed by Insider.
The top reason for the mandate, Yuan said at the August 3 meeting, is that it’s difficult for employees to get to know each other and build trust remotely.
“In our early days, we all knew each other,” Yuan said. “Over the past several years, we’ve hired so many new ‘Zoomies’ that it’s really hard to build trust.”
I did not buy the gotcha framing of many reports of Yuan’s back-to-the-office directive as I think different approaches can work well for different organizations. A hybrid approach is not a rejection of Zoom’s premise. But these trust-based claims are something Zoom markets itself on. According to Zoom itself, 95% of its customers “report a greater sense of trust” — though it does not clarify in what context. Trust in the software? Trust in each other? Happily, Zoom itself clarifies this on a different page, where it says video conferencing “[i]ncreases openness with others they are communicating with and builds trust” compared to audio-only calls, chat, or email.
It seems like Zoom is trying to thread a needle very carefully in marketing its product as a replacement for in-person meetings for many organizations and an essential part of working remotely, but that its own organization is better with a more mixed approach. Imagine being the copywriter responsible for conveying that in a convincing manner.