“This entire notion that the workplace is your workday house, we understand that’s nonsense,” Slootman mentioned on “Squawk Alley.” “Workplaces … should be there for particular functions — for occasions, for coaching, for conferences, particularly — however not a spot to hang around 9 to five. That is positively altering. It is actually going to cut back the actual property footprint that firms have.”
The appearance of the Covid-19 outbreak final spring ushered in widespread distant work for a lot of white-collar workers that has continued for months. It has confirmed to be “nearly like a wake-up name that’s simply opening our eyes to the chance,” mentioned Slootman, a longtime tech govt who in 2019 took over at Snowflake, a cloud database firm. It went public in a large IPO in September.
Snowflake and different cloud firms are beneficiaries of the shift to distant work. For instance, Amazon Internet Providers CEO Andy Jassy told CNBC in December he believes “the pandemic could have accelerated cloud adoption within the enterprise by a number of years.”
Slootman mentioned he understands individuals may be desirous to extra freely go away their properties as soon as long-standing public well being restrictions are eased, doubtlessly eager to return to pre-pandemic routines of commutes. Nevertheless, he mentioned his San Mateo, California-based firm does “not have a craving to return to the place we had been.” Slootman added, “From a enterprise standpoint, there’s quite a lot of positives to the shock to the system that we obtained.”
One optimistic could possibly be the power to recruit potential workers from a bigger geographic area. Certainly, Okta co-founder and CEO Todd McKinnon mentioned “a war for talent” that’s being fought past simply Silicon Valley helped catalyze the corporate’s embrace of distant work. “And the extra broadly we are able to enchantment to individuals, by way of letting them work from wherever and … letting them contribute at a excessive stage from wherever, that is our plan,” McKinnon instructed CNBC final month.
Slootman additionally pointed to firms resembling Oracle, which is moving its headquarters from California to Texas, as proof of how the coronavirus pandemic is recalibrating approaches to work. In asserting its determination, Oracle referenced its implementation of a extra versatile work coverage.
“The entire notion of a headquarters is just about evaporating in entrance of our eyes,” mentioned Slootman, who previously was president and CEO of ServiceNow from 2011 to 2017. “We’re now not working with a bodily middle of the universe. We’re utterly digital. We’re connecting as wanted, and we have been working for the higher a part of a full yr with out headquarters and it is simply tremendous. … It is only a idea whose time has gone away, and that is very profound.”
To make sure, the pandemic’s long-term affect on the workplace will not be but identified and a few firms have indicated everlasting distant working will not be of their future. For instance, whereas Google has delayed its employees’ return to work date to Sept. 1, CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in an organization e-mail final month that they may ultimately be anticipated to work in particular person for no less than three days per week.