“I still believe wholeheartedly that an in-person work environment allows us to work together to invent, collaborate, and learn most effectively. But I’m also not someone who sticks my head in the sand and doesn’t listen to the change that’s happening around us.” — Henry Schuck, CEO, ZoomInfo
Last week, ZoomInfo employees received the email that all of corporate America has been waiting for: “Return to Office Information.”
The main bullet points, like when (July 6) and how (safely!) were not surprising; the curveball came in the form of answers to deeper questions — the ones that employees everywhere have been wondering:
Will my company’s WFH policy be more flexible?
Will I ever get to have lunch with my colleagues again?
Can I still walk my dog in between meetings?
Lucky for us, the answer is yes to all of the above.
Introducing the Hybrid Remote Work Model
In October 2020, ZoomInfo employees were reassured that they would not have to return to the office until July 2021. Our new hybrid-remote work model, which consists of three days per week in the office and two days at home, will take effect in July.
“The world changed in meaningful ways in the last year,” our CEO, Henry Schuck, told employees. “I’ve listened to you, I’ve listened to advisors, and experts, and HR professionals, and other CEOs, and the way you want to work is different. And I am good with that.”
This structure will be the norm through at least 2022. The model is tri-fold, providing most employees with the opportunity to choose the option that works best for them:
- Hybrid remote. This includes three days in the office, two days at home, and no assigned workstations.
- Fully remote. A limited number of people who want to keep the fully remote-work model can do so, with permission from their team’s VP and the chief human resources officer.
- Fully in person. This includes four to five days per week in the office, with anyone who chooses this option receiving an assigned workstation.
This new approach recognizes that COVID-19 has irrevocably changed the way we work, but still prioritizes in-person collaboration as a core company value while allowing each employee to personalize their workflow in a more holistic way than ever before.
Employees in our Waltham, Mass. location will be welcomed into a beautiful new 300,000 square foot space to accommodate our growing workforce. The new office includes amenities such as a gym, cafeteria, and conference center, which will adhere to all COVID-19 health guidelines until the pandemic is over.
ZoomInfo has also added newly-installed safety precautions, including:
- Upgraded air filtration systems
- Personal protective equipment and sanitization
- Space-planning software
“What you should know as you look through our plans is that your safety is our number one concern,” said Schuck. “We will not put you or your family at risk.”
Why Choose This Model?
Although the option was there to move forward with a permanent work-from-home model (and tempting as it may have been, given how accustomed we’ve all become to it), Schuck ultimately decided that the energy, creativity, and collaborative spirit that exists within a ZoomInfo office space is too precious to be lost.
“Customers, board members, and employees alike would walk into our offices and feel the energy coming from our sales floors, from our marketing teams. They could see the innovation happening in engineering and data,” he said.
“Ask me on March 12th, 2020, if I was ready to give that all up for a remote work environment, and I was a hard no. I just didn’t believe in it. It felt like ripping the soul out of our company… But over the last year, some things changed and some things stayed the same.”
Given that over 1,000 new employees started at ZoomInfo during the pandemic and have never been in one of the company’s spaces, there was a consensus on returning to the office: It’s about time.
“I think even despite working from home and not seeing our coworkers in person, we’ve all made some pretty good friends at work. I think a lot of people are excited to finally get to spend more time with those friends in person and maybe enjoy some social outings outside of work again as well. The past year was a little bit dark, but there are a lot of brighter days ahead.” — Rob Morse, Manager, Communications