- Okta CEO Todd McKinnon wants his 3,500 employees to tell him their vacation plans.
- He told CNBC he shared his own vacation plans with staff to remind them the importance of taking breaks.
- He said that about 950 people had emailed him, and “they’re still trickling in.”
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Todd McKinnon told staff in a recent all-hands meeting about his upcoming family vacation in Napa, and encouraged the company’s 3,500 employees to email him plans for their own vacations in as much detail as they wanted, he told CNBC.
He said that he shared his plans to remind staff about the importance of taking breaks and a good work-life balance.
“I got a lot of emails,” McKinnon told CNBC. He said that around 950 members of staff had sent him their vacation plans so far, and “they’re still trickling in.”
This included one employee going to Maui, Hawaii who was looking forward to visiting the Mai Tai bar and another who wanted to travel around Europe, he said.
But not all their plans involved big trips overseas.
“It’s a lot of, ‘I’m going to see family, I haven’t seen my parents in a year,'” McKinnon said.
McKinnon still spends most of his time working remotely
As the vaccine rollout progresses, some tech companies such as Apple and Google are pushing staff to return to the office at least part-time, but Okta is taking a different stance.
In August, the company said that most employees would be able to work remotely forever. It’s been piloting a flexible work model known as “dynamic work” since 2019, which gives staff more choice about when and where they work.
Nearly all of its new job openings are now eligible for remote work, and 60% of its new hires are not located near an Okta office, Samantha Fisher, the company’s head of dynamic work, previously told Insider.
She said that the company expected around 85% of its workforce to be remote once its transition to “dynamic work” is complete, compared to 30% pre-pandemic.
But staff can still return to the office if they want. Okta has reopened its San Francisco office for vaccinated employees, but remodeled it for hot-desking and collaborative work.
McKinnon told CNBC that staff are happy to be back.
“What surprises people continuously, even me, is that they’ve forgotten the positive feeling of being around people,” he said.
McKinnon said he occasionally works from the office, but spends most of time elsewhere so that staff don’t feel pressured to return.
“I don’t want to imply that, well the CEO is back so you better go back,” he said. “Once people settle into this new groove, I’ll go back a lot. My personal preference is to go back.”