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Forget Zoom Calls, Remote Work Startups Want to Build a Virtual Office

Companies such as Roam promise to reconnect hybrid workforces, but the concern is that online offices might replicate the same problems real ones have.

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In presentations over two days in early November at the San Jose Convention Center, leaders from Zoom Video Communications Inc. unveiled a plan to transition from an online-meeting tool into an all-day business platform. Zoom Spots, coming in early 2023, will be a virtual-office watercooler of sorts, helping to re-create those casual conversations and quick pop-ins that fell victim to remote work.

“People, especially the ones who are working from home, they don’t feel they’re part of the group,” Chief Product Officer Oded Gal told Zoom investors. “We’re missing all of these conversations that used to happen where you could talk about your personal life. And a lot of actual business decisions are made in the corridors.”