May 24, 2024

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston is one thing of an anomaly, one of many few CEOs of a serious tech firm that also believes in distant work.

Within the wake of the pandemic, CEOs throughout the tech trade have been pushing for his or her staff to come back again to the workplace. Some have settled for a few days every week — no less than for now — whereas others have tried to drive a full return.

In an interview with Fortune, Houston made clear his perception that distant work is the long run and that CEOs ought to attempt to drive their staff again at their very own peril.

“I’d say, ‘your staff have choices,’” Houston stated when requested what message he had for his friends. “They’re not sources to manage.”

In contrast to some executives and CEOs, corresponding to Amazon’s Andy Jassy, Houston’s distant work stance is predicated on arduous analysis, and never on intestine emotions or ‘judgment calls.’

“From a product design perspective, prospects are our staff. We’ve stitched collectively this working mannequin based mostly on main analysis,” he informed Fortune. “We’ve simply been handed the keys that unlock this complete future of labor, which is definitely right here.”

Houston additionally emphasised the significance of trusting staff and treating them like adults relatively than resorting to surveillance.

“You want a distinct social contract, and to let go of management,” he stated. “However for those who belief individuals and deal with them like adults, they’ll behave like adults. Belief over surveillance.”

Houston’s strategy is a refreshingly enlightened strategy amongst CEOs.