Welcome back to Insider Weekly! I’m Matt Turner, the editor-in-chief of business at Insider.
We’ve all heard about the “Great Resignation.”
The wave of quits across America has been driven by many things, from the search for more flexibility or money to burnout to toxic bosses to a yearning for adventure. Maybe we should add the end of free food to that list.
Dropbox insiders told Rosalie Chan and Paayal Zaveri that the end of free perks like bulgogi from Michelin-starred chefs contributed to their decision to leave the company. Sure, they didn’t quit just because of the food. But for many, the move to virtual first and an end to the kinds of perks that brought people together IRL shifted their loyalties and made leaving that bit easier.
It illustrates a common challenge in corporate America. As Rosalie asks in a Q&A below, in an age of remote work, how does a company set itself apart from the competition? Read on for more.
Also in this week’s newsletter:
CNN stars including Jake Tapper raised concerns about Jeff Zucker’s exit in leaked audio.Insiders say confusion, rivalries, and canceled projects have roiled Microsoft’s metaverse strategy.Three more women say the Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy filmed them without asking during sex.
Our senior reporters Rosalie Chan and Paayal Zaveri take us inside their reporting:
What got you thinking about Dropbox’s perks?
Rosalie: We began looking into this story because we heard there’s been high employee turnover at Dropbox. As we started reaching out to employees, we noticed a common theme: how amazing the food was. The cafeteria employs chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants and serves food like artisan pizza and beef bulgogi — all for free.
Though the employees who left had many reasons for leaving, Dropbox’s perks and culture were a big draw, and the loss of the cafeteria was representative of something bigger. It asked the question of, in the age of remote work, where offices and free food are no longer a thing, how can a company set itself apart?
What are employees saying about the loss of Dropbox’s iconic benefits?
Paayal: When Dropbox closed its offices, its iconic perks largely disappeared, and without them, it was hard to maintain the company’s unique culture. That, combined with the loss of more traditional benefits like its health-insurance plan that covered 100% of employees’ costs, a shifting product strategy, and layoffs in 2021, pushed many employees to look for new jobs. Whereas in the past employees might have stayed for the culture even amid those stumbles, it now had less pull on them, they told us.
What’s the zaniest perk you’ve heard of a company offering?
Rosalie: In the age of remote work, many employees get a wellness stipend for things like gym memberships and workout equipment, and at Meta, I’ve heard employees can even reimburse Quidditch equipment.
What do you think the future of Silicon Valley perks looks like?
Paayal: The pandemic upended many of the traditional office perks that tech companies used to attract employees. At the same time, the option to work remotely has become a bigger draw for employees, and companies that don’t offer that flexibility are having a harder time recruiting.
Looking to the future, I think companies that can offer flexibility and perks that don’t revolve around the office will be the ones employees are most drawn to.
Read the full story here: Dropbox insiders say the end of office perks like free food from Michelin-starred chefs and the shift to remote work has upended its culture and made it harder to keep employees around
DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JULY 31: CNN moderator Jake Tapper speaks to the crowd attending the Democratic Presidential Debate at the Fox Theatre July 31, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. 20 Democratic presidential candidates were split into two groups of 10 to take part in the debate sponsored by CNN held over two nights at Detroit’s Fox Theatre.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar faced a barrage of questions from top CNN staffers over the ouster of network President Jeff Zucker in a tense meeting on Wednesday, according to an audio recording obtained by Insider.
On-air talent including Jake Tapper, Kaitlan Collins, Wolf Blitzer, and Jim Acosta pressed Kilar over his decision to ask for Zucker’s resignation over the executive’s failure to disclose a relationship with a colleague — a decision that left CNN employees in “total shock.”
Microsoft’s technical fellow Alex Kipman reveals "HoloLens 2" during a presentation at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) on the eve of the world’s biggest mobile fair in Barcelona on February 24, 2019.
GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images
With the introduction of its HoloLens device in 2015, Microsoft made an early bet on mixed-reality computing. But current and former employees say internal divides and a lack of a unified strategy have hobbled the team’s plans.
As Insider reported earlier this week, Microsoft has scrapped the HoloLens 3. Microsoft’s decision is sending the company in new directions, including a partnership with Samsung and a potential cloud-based mixed reality device.
Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports
In November, three young women came forward about sexual encounters they had with Barstool Sports’ founder, Dave Portnoy. These women told Insider the experiences with Portnoy turned frightening and humiliating and had taken a toll on their mental health. Two of the women also said Portnoy filmed their encounters without asking.
Since then, three more young women have told Insider that Portnoy filmed them during sex without asking for permission. They ranged in age from 18 to mid-20s at the time. A total of four women have now told Insider that Portnoy has sent them at least 19 unsolicited videos of what appears to be him having sex with other women.
More of this week’s top reads:
Rachel Maddow is stepping back from her MSNBC show to work on movie and podcast projects.We asked investors to share the 17 climate-tech startups to keep an eye on right now.The New York Times’ gaming chief explained why Wordle was a good buy.See the pitch deck that fitness entrepreneur Grace Beverley used to raise $5.7 million for her activewear startup.We’ve got a comprehensive guide to tensions in Ukraine. The great venture-capital resignation is underway.Compared to millennials, Gen Z is graduating to a far better job market — and its financial prospects look far brighter.
Tech Insider, Newsletter, insider weekly, Tech, Dropbox, CNN, Jeff Zucker
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