October 29, 2022

Dropbox CEO recounts benefits of virtual-first jobs to workers



By Biodun Busari

The chief executive officer, Dropbox, Drew Houston has issued a message to corporate leaders and organizational employers to rethink putting themselves in others’ shoes.

Houston said this at a recent CNBC Work Summit calling them to hit the reset button as he shared some of the top lessons of his technology learned.

He disclosed that these lessons were learnt during the COVID-19 pandemic year that had moved the corporate world into virtual-first.

According to Houston, “Flexibility…we knew, once people have it, they wouldn’t want to give it back.”

That led Dropbox on a journey to find a way to bridge the best of the remote world — no commute, ability to live anywhere — with in-person experiences that have no substitute.

“There was an opportunity to really redesign the nature of work and rethink it to get the best of both,” Houston said.

And its bet on virtual-first work has given advantages in the labour market in ways that have surprised the tech CEO.

Dropbox has been able to take back many employees who had left the firm in recent years as a result of the flexibility it is now offering.

And Houston says the bet will continue to pay off into the future. Firms that offer work flexibility will out-recruit, out-retain and outperform competitors mandating a return to the office.

“We’ve been able to punch way above our weight class,” Houston said.

Videos of all CNBC Work Summit panels and interviews will be available exclusively on demand through Friday, November 11.