Zoom leads waning tech stocks as a new reality bites

Our latest WORKTECH Wednesday Briefing looks at why the fortunes of technology companies are in the balance after big gains in lockdown and how you can contribute to our survey on the state of hybrid

What are we to make of those tech stocks, previously the biggest winners in lockdown, taking a tumble on the stock market following their latest quarterly results?

The Economist has reported on an alarming slump in revenue among companies such as Zoom, Peloton and Netflix, who are synonymous with digitisation and saw huge increases in their customer base during the pandemic. Zoom’s revenue has fallen by a shocking 80 per cent, causing its share price to plummet.

Do these results suggest significant return to a pre-pandemic normality as people become more comfortable with returning to the office and socialising in public again?

Well, potentially. A decline in sales is partially the predictable result of a decreased reliance on digital platforms and a reduced anxiety around getting out and about, as well a recent pick-up in the previously slow pace of the return to the office. People no longer feel the need to stay at home where they are reliant on digital solutions to access the outside world. Instead, people want to meet face-to-face more often.

‘The pool of small businesses who haven’t already invested in video conferencing must be vanishingly small…’

Additionally, at what point can these companies be said to have reached market saturation? Zoom was synonymous with the pandemic but, coming out of it, the pool of small businesses who haven’t already invested in some type of video conferencing software must be vanishingly small.

There is also more competition, with new companies developing digital alternatives to the well-known brand names. These have since hit the market.

However, while the decline in share price might sound drastic, it is perhaps not as shocking as it first seems. Forbes magazine has been quick to highlight that Zoom’s revenue has only fallen amongst individuals and small businesses – its revenue from corporate sources is still high.

Zoom’s troubles are also part of a bigger picture of downturn in the technology sector with some of the shine coming off Silicon Valley giants such as Meta, Apple and Snapchat. A Guardian report asks if Silicon Valley has reached the end of its golden age given the layoffs and hiring freezes, drops in company valuation and intense scrutiny by regulators. It quotes Washington University professor Margaret O’Mara, author of The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America, as saying: ‘This party couldn’t go on forever’. Quite so.

The State of Hybrid survey

As organisations move beyond planning and strategy this autumn to implement hybrid working policies on the ground, it is essential to get a sense of how things are developing.

That is why WORKTECH Academy is this week launching its ‘State of Hybrid’ survey, canvassing all our members, partners and subscribers in the WORKTECH network. We want to understand the key motivators for returning to the office and the enablers of hybrid working. What can organisations around the world do to facilitate new ways of working in the future?

‘We want to understand the enablers of hybrid working…’

This WORKTECH Academy survey aims to highlight what is currently being done in organisations versus what is desired. It is supported by multinational communication and collaboration technology firm Poly, a Corporate Member of the Academy.

Take part in our short ‘State of Hybrid’ survey here.

Lynda Gratton interview

If you want to get the inside track on how to make the hybrid model work effectively, one of the world’s foremost experts, Professor Lynda Gratton of the London Business School, will be interviewed by WORKTECH Academy director Jeremy Myerson on 4 October 2022 as part of the Royal College of Art’s In Session series on understanding innovation.

Lynda Gratton is a renowned author, academic and consultant. The online session takes its title from her new book Redesigning Work. It will ask: what will the new office look like? How will flexible work affect the psychology of workers? And what should organisations put in place to get ahead of the curve?  The interview will also draw on another new book, Unworking: The Reinvention of the Modern Office by Jeremy Myerson and Philip Ross.

More information on the RCA’s In Session interview with Professor Lynda Gratton here.

Creating ‘place’ through culture

As many organisations continue to navigate the complexities of hybrid working, some companies have decided to be fully remote. But this comes with its own set of challenges, how can remote companies cultivate a sense of place and culture?

Github, a remote-first IT organisations since it’s inception, will present its views on the future of the office at WORKTECH22 Seattle on Thursday 20 October at WeWork on 3rd Avenue, Seattle. Github will explains how it creates a ‘place’ for its employees to thrive and grow in a climate conscious, professional and energising series of spaces connected through the principles of culture, innovation and the joy of creation.

Find out more about the event and who will be joining here.

In our WORKTECH Wednesday Briefings, we reach out to our 10,000-plus Academy members, WORKTECH attendees, speakers, partners and sponsors while WORKTECH’s professional conference series continues through our in-person, virtual and hybrid platforms. This edition is posted 21  September 2022.
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