Could the 40-hour workweek cease to exist?

According to Dropbox co-founder Drew Houston, it will become “a thing of the past.”

Houston, who co-founded the Dropbox platform in 2007, was one of 15 CEOs to be asked by CNN to share what they learned amid the pandemic.

Speaking to CNN about the future of work, Houston believes that workers will leave their “grueling commutes and gain more control of their day.”

He noted that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the way we typically work would be similar to the influence of mobile and cloud technology systems.

"The workplace will now be wherever work happens, and the workweek will be whenever work happens best for each person," Houston told the outlet.

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The more remote working present means that companies can hire people beyond “exclusive urban clusters,” which would help attract more talent, he added.

“They’ll [companies] also have to trust employees to get their work done without constantly monitoring face time, and people will have to take more accountability for their results,” Houston said.

Houston also spoke about Dropbox’s decision to become a “virtual first” company last October, when it announced that employees would be working from home permanently.

Amid the pandemic, people have noted that working from home improved their work-life balance, flexibility, and autonomy.

Some employers who were a bit skeptical in the beginning about work from home believe that the results of remote work when it comes to productivity seemed to have changed their minds.

Several companies are also switching to hybrid styles of work to keep staff members who don’t want to come back to the office five days a week.

On the other hand, economists and labour market experts alike have warned workers who are in computer programming positions and accounting are more likely to benefit from this than those who work in hospitality, who have to be in-person to perform their daily tasks.

Houston further mentioned that the future of work as we know it has yet to be determined and that companies and employees need to create a “new social contract and shift in mindset” in order to create the best policies for the team moving forward.

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