Zoom has the happiest employees of 2020—here's why

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Whether you feel fatigued by its constant presence in a socially distanced world or you've fully embraced the platform, it's undeniable that Zoom has had a remarkable year.

When the coronavirus pandemic sent millions of Americans to shelter in place this spring, the video communications platform quickly became the go-to tool to stay connected with friends, family and coworkers. Zoom said daily users spiked to 200 million in March, up from 10 million in December.

And for the second year in a row, Zoom is the top company with the happiest employees, based on employee data submitted to the workplace culture and compensation monitoring site Comparably between September 2019 and September 2020. Rankings are based on worker responses to questions about their happiness at work on a day to day basis, including:

  • Is your work environment positive or negative?
  • Do you believe you're paid fairly?
  • Do you feel burnt out at work?
  • Are you typically excited about going to work each day?
  • Do you look forward to interacting with your coworkers?

Notably, Zoom is also the No. 4 company where people feel most satisfied with their compensation (after Google, Facebook and Microsoft), according to Comparably data.

Happiness ratings also consider workers' sentiments about their employer overall, such as whether they feel invested in their company's goals, if they feel proud of their company and the likelihood they'd recommend their company to a friend. While the survey did not ask questions directly about the pandemic, companies rated highly tend to be in the tech, business services and insurance industries that have adapted well to social distancing needs and have not faced major layoffs.

Paying attention to workplace happiness throughout his career has worked out for Zoom founder and CEO Eric Yuan, who actually left a six-figure job with the company now known as Cisco Webex because he wasn't happy. "Every day, when I woke up, I was not very happy. I even did not want to go to the office to work," Yuan told CNBC Make It in a 2019 interview.

Feeling stalled in his career, he realized it was time to move on when he spoke with customers about the product he helped build and "did not see a single happy customer."

So, after leaving in 2011, Yuan set out to build his own product he could be proud of and launched Zoom shortly after. Following his heart made him a billionaire several times over. According to its latest quarterly earnings report, the company's success lifted its market cap to $129 billion and boosted Yuan's stake in the company to almost $20 billion.

Why Zoom has found big success during social distancing
How Zoom rose to the top during social distancing

Janine Pelosi, chief marketing officer at Zoom, told CNBC in July that the company had a strong in-office culture prior to the pandemic, which it has worked hard to maintain while employees work from home. "For us, this was quite the shift. But I think the team is doing a wonderful job of making the best of a difficult situation," she said.

The company's meteoric rise in 2020 hasn't been without challenges, including addressing privacy concerns and increasing security measures for users. Still, employees seem to be up to the challenge and feel supported by management to improve the videoconferencing product, according to Comparably reviews.

"Our leaders lead by example," one employee wrote on Comparably. "They are passionate and dedicated to their various roles in the organization, which motivates those they lead to do more."

Despite the challenges imposed by rapid growth, not to mention the pandemic itself, workers are continuing to build out the product: In October, the company announced its forthcoming OnZoom service for hosting premium events, which will be available worldwide in 2021.

As organizations continue to adapt and support workers through the pandemic, here are the top 10 companies where employees are happiest, according to Comparably.

1. Zoom Video Communications 

Headquarters: San Jose, California

CEO: Eric Yuan

Department with the happiest employees: Product, communications, IT

2. HubSpot 

Headquarters: Cambridge, Massachusetts

CEO: Brian Halligan

Department with the happiest employees: Administrative, legal

3. Microsoft

Headquarters: Redmond, Washington

CEO: Satya Nadella

Department with the happiest employees: Communications

4. RingCentral

Headquarters: Belmont, California

CEO: Vladimir Shmunis

Department with the happiest employees: Business development

5. Apple

Headquarters: Cupertino, California

CEO: Tim Cook

Department with the happiest employees: Communications

6. Google 

Headquarters: Mountain View, California

CEO: Sundar Pichai

Department with the happiest employees: Communications

7. SBA Communications

Headquarters: Boca Raton, Florida

CEO: Jeffrey Stoops

Department with the happiest employees: Business development

8. UiPath

Headquarters: New York City

CEO: Daniel Dines

Department with the happiest employees: Operations, administrative, finance

9. ADP 

Headquarters: Roseland, New Jersey

CEO: Carlos Rodriguez

Department with the happiest employees: Operations, HR

10. Farmers Insurance 

Headquarters: Woodland Hills, California

CEO: Jeffrey Dailey

Department with the happiest employees: Finance

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