Much depends on the speed and extent of the large-scale migration back to the office: from the solvency of downtown sandwich sellers to the health of senior management morale.
Many CEOs realize that their existence has nothing to do with labor productivity, which hits them hard, and urges employees to return. Previously taciturn employees, such as at Apple, even refused to stay in the office three days a week.
It is difficult to estimate how this will work. Vaccination and case rate statistics, access card swiping and mobile data provide clues. But beware of false signals. iPhone data shows that French cities were world leaders in the restoration of public transport use before the Covid-19 outbreak: in fact, this was the result of a strike in January 2020.
Another future guide can be found in the stock market.Although the S&P 500 index is still close to historical highs, some Last year’s pandemic winner Has faded, adding weight to the theory that the new work model may not be as durable as previously thought.
Zoom video It is the biggest beneficiary of the coronavirus because workers and students exchange face-to-face interactions for endless screen time. Now, the company has shifted its focus to installing the video conferencing suite “Zoom Rooms” in the office. “Many companies are redesigning workplaces to enhance the mixed work experience,” Zoom CEO Eric Yuan insisted on a conference call this month. Investors didn’t believe it: Zoom’s stock price fell by a third from its peak.
RingCentral is responsible for freeing 3.5 million people (including the staff of the Financial Times) from their trusted landlines in exchange for web-based applications, and the company also believes its success will continue. “What we are seeing is going back to the office, but we can continue to work anywhere… We continue to hold this banner,” CEO Vladimir Shmunis said last month. But RingCentral’s stock price has fallen nearly 40% from its peak.
Teladoc was elated when the patients felt uncomfortable rubbing their shoulders against each other in the doctor’s waiting room. “My guess is that we will continue to see more trends in home diagnosis,” Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic said a few weeks ago. But investors speculate that the company’s momentum will not continue: its share price has fallen 45% from its peak.
Other pandemic winners — such as Chewy, Ocado, and Peloton — have also fallen by a third or more from their highs.
But this is unlikely to herald a complete reversal of the trend of working from home, shopping and exercising.
The huge gains in the rise—for example, Zoom rose 750% from its peak in January 2020 to later that year—are certainly due to the lockdown. But the subsequent losses are sometimes due to special problems- Safety issues of Peloton treadmill, For example-sometimes because of concerns that large technology companies will enter the new remote work market.
Not every winner has lost its brilliance. “We believe that once customers come to this platform, they won’t go back to paper and pen,” DocuSign’s chief financial officer Cynthia Gaylor said last week, and her electronic signatures are still very popular.
Cloud software providers Box and Dropbox are also close to the top, as is Slack, which is a messaging app that helps employees work together at home and is now resisting returning to the office.