Dropbox CEO on return-to-office mandates: ’employees have choices’

Dropbox CEO on return-to-office mandates: ’employees have choices’

While many tech companies demand employees come back in the office, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston continues to believe in flexible or distributed work. According to him, employees are not “resources to control.”

In an interview with Fortune, the CEO indicated that he disagrees with tech industry colleagues to have employees back in the office as much as possible now that the pandemic is a thing of the past.

“I’d say, ‘your employees have options,’” Houston said. According to him, employees are happier and more productive when there is a healthy mix between home and office. Going entirely back to the office doesn’t work, but neither does an entire life behind a Zoom screen.

Virtual First strategy

As a result, Dropbox arrived at the end of the pandemic at a “Virtual First” mix that has been sustained to this day. This means that Dropbox employees spend 90 percent of their time working remotely, and for the remaining 10 percent, they occasionally come to a meeting or social event. Employees are also free to choose whether or not they still come to the office during the 90 percent home working time.

With this strategy, Dropbox has been able to save significantly on office space in expensive San Francisco and shift the budget for all office costs and benefits to its employees.

More flexible hours, too

In addition to almost standard offsite working, Dropbox has also instituted that employees work more flexible hours. For example, discussion, deliberation and decision must take place in a single meeting and only between noon and 4 in the afternoon.

Among other things, this should ensure that Dropbox employees remain in control of not only how they work, but also where they work.

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