Zoom CEO reportedly tells staff: Workers can't build trust or collaborate... on Zoom
So those 218,000 enterprise customers are wrong to hold meetings on web?
Opinion Zoom subscribers have some food for thought after the company's CEO inadvertently kicked a massive hole in the entire premise of its flagship product.
If the contents of a leaked all-hands meeting that found its way to Insider are to be believed, Eric Yuan should perhaps have more faith in the very purpose of Zoom as a remote work tool.
The Reg was quick to point out the paradox of a business that built its fortune on enabling web conferencing throughout the lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic only to recall employees living within 50 miles(!!!) back to the office this month for at least two days a week.
The irony of the situation still seems distant to the CEO. According to the leaked meeting on August 3, Yuan told employees that Zoom the product does not allow Zoom the company to "build as much trust or be as innovative as in the office."
So why does it even exist and how is it making money? If it's not good enough for Zoom itself, is it good enough for the 218,000 enterprise customers that brought in $659.5 million in revenue for the company's Q2?
"In our early days, we all knew each other," he said. "Over the past several years, we've hired so many new 'Zoomies' that it's really hard to build trust."
"Trust is a foundation for everything. Without trust, we will be slow."
So it is apparently impossible to collaborate on the collaboration platform?
"Quite often, you come up with great ideas, but when we are all on Zoom, it's really hard," he explained. "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."
Obviously, he hasn't seen the pandemic comedy gold of Jackie "You Have No Authority Here" Weaver, possibly the most bizarre, awkward, and unpleasant Zoom meeting that reached public awareness during those dark times. And what about the "I am not a cat" lawyer? OK, maybe not a good example, but actual court hearings were taking place over Zoom and they are otherwise pretty serious business.
Being "very friendly" sounds like a corporate "you" problem. The point is that every one else managed or is managing just fine. So what gives?
Well, these companies in their infinite wisdom – Zoom included – have invested in real estate portfolios, for one. Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently lamented that the company's cloud unit offices were like a "ghost town" so he enforced a desk-sharing scheme to make the team feel the warm and fuzzies.
There's also what Microsoft described as "productivity paranoia" – the panic that must set in when every movement of employees cannot be micromanaged into oblivion.
- Get your staff's consent before you monitor them, tech inquiry warns
- Boss such a tyrant you need a job quitting agent? It works in Japan
- Bosses face losing 'key' workers after forcing a return to office
- WFH mandates bad for staff morale and stunt innovation
But there's also the power trip. Remarkably, a recent survey of company execs revealed that most mandated returns to the office were based on something as ironclad as "gut feeling," and that 80 percent actually regret ever making the decision.
The pandemic was a false economy that none of these companies which experienced massive growth during that time were able to comprehend, weirdly enough. Still, Zoom is a special case given that its 12-year existence has revolved around enabling remote work and collaboration. Mouth meet foot.
We've asked the company to comment.
How about you? Does your workplace use Zoom, and does it help or hinder? ®