Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM) has been one of the biggest winners in the COVID-19 pandemic, but what happens when people can go back to the office? In this Fool Live video clip, recorded on April 1, Fool.com contributors Matt Frankel, CFP, Brian Withers, and Brian Feroldi discuss what could be in store for the videoconferencing company as the world starts to return to normal.
Brian Withers: What do you guys think? You guys both own Zoom?
Brian Feroldi: I bought it two weeks ago.
Matt Frankel: There you go. I do not. Zoom is one of the stocks I have an unpopular opinion about.
Withers: Well, there you go.
Frankel: Let me defend myself for a second. As the real estate guy, a big part of my investing thesis is that people are going to want to go to physical places -- in particular, offices -- in the post-pandemic world. You mentioned the Zoom survey where 4% of employees don't want to work full-time in the office. My gut reaction is, of course Zoom employees are going to say that. But Slack (NYSE:WORK) did a similar survey of what they call knowledge workers -- the people who are using Zoom right now, like us -- knowledge workers, and only about 15% of them want to go back to the office full-time. To your point, it's not that the need for virtual meetings is going to completely fall off, the majority of workers, the vast majority wanted some hybrid work model. Now, what that actually looks like will depend on the company, and another just playing the other side of it -- just because employees want something doesn't mean employers are going to do it. But having said that, I do think Zoom is here to stay. If you could think back before the pandemic to how many people had no clue how to use things like Zoom, just the fact that everyone knows how to use it now is going to give it a sustained power in the post-pandemic world. If it continues to fall, I would have to take a serious look at it.
Withers: All right. We are going to put a pin in that, Matt Frankel, and come back a year from now and see where we're at.
Feroldi: One thing I will say, Brian, as you mentioned the security issues before, we did an interview on Fool Live with Beth Kendig, who's a technology expert, in person. I can't remember exactly her rationale, but it was along the lines of Zoom was built for the enterprise. It was never intended to be consumer to consumer. Because of that, when you're an employee of the company, that employer wants to own the conversations that you're having; they want to own your ideas. Because of that, Zoom didn't go crazy with security because it knew that companies wanted to be able to capture what their employees were saying in case an idea came up or something like that. So it wasn't designed to be used the way that it's used now, which is why they had lax security measures. But then they, as you said, fixed that. That made sense to me.
Withers: Yeah. Originally, they were selling to businesses. Eric Yuan never intended to get into the consumer market -- and then, bam.
Feroldi: Everybody on earth needs to use your product now.