Dropbox CEO Drew Houston is giving employees the freedom to work from home 90% of the time. The remaining 10% of the year is dedicated to employee off-site events.
Houston’s approach is a stark contrast to other business leaders, such as Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, and JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. These CEOs have all mandated that employees return to the office, with some requiring employees to be in the office five days a week.
Houston, on the other hand, believes that trusting employees and treating them like adults is the best way to get the most out of them. “If you trust people and treat them like adults, they’ll behave like adults,” he told Fortune. “Trust over surveillance.”
Dropbox’s transition to a virtual-first work culture hasn’t been without its challenges. Former employees have told Insider that the loss of perks, such as the company’s famously posh cafeteria, has been a downside. However, Houston believes that the benefits of remote work outweigh the drawbacks.
“I’d say, ‘your employees have options. They’re not resources to control,'” Houston told Fortune when asked about what message he had for CEOs who believed in return-to-office mandates. “You need a different social contract and to let go of control. But if you trust people and treat them like adults, they’ll behave like adults. Trust over surveillance.”
Houston’s approach to remote work is in line with the latest trends. A recent survey by Owl Labs found that 81% of employees want to work remotely at least some of the time, and 62% want to work remotely full-time. As more and more companies adopt remote work policies, it will be interesting to see if Houston’s 90/10 rule becomes the new standard.
The sources for this piece include an article in BusinessInsider.