Skift Take

On the frontline of a global-local movement, software company Zoho’s rural revitalization concept could catch on.

Series: Future of Work

Future of Work

As organizations start to embrace distributed work and virtual meetings, the corporate travel and meetings sectors are preparing for change. Read Skift’s ongoing coverage of this shift in business travel behavior through the lens of both brands and consumers.

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Employees at business software company Zoho can literally enjoy the fruits of their labor when they turn up to work at its headquarters in Austin, Texas. That’s because it transformed the 360-acre site into a farm at the start of the pandemic. While not every company has the luxury of getting back to nature in such a manner, Zoho’s actions could mark the start of a wider push away from cities as remote work takes hold. Zoho was founded in India by Sridhar Vembu, and expanded by building satellite offices in rural regions. The 25-year-old company is bringing the concept to the rest of the world, with offices in the U.S., France, the Netherlands, Mexico, and Colombia. The UK, Ireland and Italy follow soon. "Small towns, good connectivity, good talent. That’s our approach," Raju Vegesna Zoho's chief evangelist, told Skift.

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The development of the farm was a first for the company, and happened naturally, as people wanted more space during the pandemic. It's stopped recruiting there, but is looking to expand at three smaller offices across Texas. Rural Revival Zoho's company culture is really more of a philosophy. In India it brought internet connectivity to rural regions, training locals, who in turn became loyal employees. With remote work taking hold gl