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Zoom's Sydney office pilots 'employee-led' approach to the future of work

Mon 24 Jan 2022

If there’s one company that ought to be prepared for the new hybrid work environment, Zoom could almost top the list - and a recent survey from the company showed that just 1% of its workforce wanted to work full time in an office in 2021.

The company is piloting a new ‘workstyle’ option in its Sydney offices, which enables staff to choose their own hybrid work path. The pilot will act as a proof of concept for its Sydney and global staff, however no formal rollout has been announced.

Combined with a growing workforce and expanding presence worldwide, the company is preparing for the future of work - and it’s ‘employee-led’, according to Zoom’s chief financial officer Kelly Steckelberg.

Zoom, of course, sees its own platform as critical to the success of modern work, in addition to tools, resources, and principles to guide the flexible workspace.

Steckelberg says these principles focus on three areas: connection (how to do work and provide customer experience), people (how to make work more inclusive), and experience (how to evolve and build processes for the employee experience).

Once it is safe to reopen Zoom offices, staff will be able to choose a ‘workstyle’. These include working in the office in person, working remotely, or a hybrid environment that includes office and remote work.

Zoom also wants to ensure staff satisfaction. Employee-led choices about their workstyles will be self-reported (unless they need to have an in-person role), they will be independent from any previous arrangements, they will be flexible (staff can come into the office if they wish to), and perhaps most importantly, they will not be coupled with career success.

Steckelberg says, “We will continue to train and enable managers to support dispersed teams, with the goal of ensuring all employees are treated equitably and receive the same career development opportunities regardless of their workstyle.”

ZK Research founder and principal analyst Zeus Kerravala says that employees are left-out of decision-making processes while organisations are trying to adapt. Zoom, however, looks to be empowering its workforce, Kerravala notes.

Steckelberg adds, "in setting this direction, we have adhered to the guiding principles we set at the beginning of the pandemic — we won’t reopen any offices until we can do so without the need for PPE and social distancing, and only when we are equipped to safely open."

“We feel offering employee-led workstyles is the best way to continue delivering happiness not only to our customers but to current and future Zoomies.”

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