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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Dropbox is the latest San Francisco tech company to make remote work permanent

Dropbox Inc. co-founder Drew Houston waits as Dropbox (DBX) is listed for the company’s initial public offering (IPO) at the Nasdaq Market Site in New York, U.S., March 23, 2018.

Lucas Jackson | Reuters

San Francisco-based Dropbox announced Tuesday that it will stop asking employees to come into its offices and instead make remote work the standard practice, even after the coronavirus pandemic ends.

“Remote work (outside an office) will be the primary experience for all employees and the day-to-day default for individual work,” the company said in a blog post.

For employees who need to meet or work together in person, the company is setting up “Dropbox Studios” in San Francisco, Seattle, Austin and Dublin when it’s safe to do so. The company extended its mandatory work-from-home policy through June 2021.

“We’ll have Studios in all locations we currently have offices—whether they’re dedicated spaces in places we currently have long-term leases and a high concentration of employees (San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, and Dublin to start) or on-demand spaces in other geographies,” the company said.

Dropbox had more than 2,800 employees as of Dec. 31, according to its latest 8K.

More companies are starting to consider remote work as a more permanent option due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Twitter and Square are letting employees work from home “forever,” while Microsoft said workers will have more flexibility to work from home. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg predicted in May that 50% of employees will be working remotely within the next decade.

Without the pressure to go into an office every day, some people have chosen to move out of Silicon Valley and look for more affordable and larger options. That’s pushed down the cost of rental housing in San Francisco, historically the most expensive place to live in the area.

For example, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco dropped more than 20% from a year ago, to $2,830, according to a report from real estate start-up Zumper. That’s the largest decline the company has recorded. 

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