Drew Houston, Dropbox Co-Founder and CEO, talking at CNBC’s @Work convention in San Francisco on November 4, 2019.

Arun Nevader | CNBC

Dropbox on Thursday reported a $398.2 million one-time cost within the fourth quarter to replicate the corporate’s shift to distant work.

Because the coronavirus emerged within the U.S. final yr, corporations closed places of work and pushed their staff to work from their properties. Some corporations noticed that the distant work didn’t damage — and in some circumstances helped — productiveness and worker satisfaction, and sought to make it extra everlasting. That may come at a price for corporations with appreciable real-estate footprints.

Dropbox, which makes cloud-based storage and productiveness software program and is thought for its lavish workplace area in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, introduced its “digital first” remote-work plan in October.

“Distant work (exterior an workplace) would be the main expertise for all staff and the day-to-day default for particular person work,” Dropbox mentioned in a blog post. Some workplace area will stay for collaboration, and Dropbox will sublease a number of the area.

Within the first, second and third quarters of 2020, Dropbox reported internet revenue after years of shedding cash. The impairment cost from “right-of-use and different lease associated belongings” that Dropbox disclosed in its fourth-quarter earnings statement reverses that streak, leading to an almost $346 million loss for the corporate, in contrast with a $33 million profit within the third quarter.

The cost was excluded from non-GAAP outcomes, which mirrored 28 cents in earnings per share, up from 16 cents within the year-ago quarter, and exceeded the consensus of 24 cents per share anticipated by analysts polled by Refinitiv. Dropbox shares have been down 1% in prolonged buying and selling.

Earlier than Dropbox dedicated to having its individuals work remotely, know-how corporations together with Atlassian, Twitter and Zillow had mentioned they might enable staff to continue working from home even after the pandemic subsides. Earlier this month, San Francisco’s greatest employer, Salesforce, mentioned that almost all of its staff will probably be in places of work one to three days per week as soon as it is secure sufficient to return.

In October, after 1000’s of its staff had gotten used to working with out being subsequent to their colleagues, Pinterest mentioned it had agreed to pay $89.5 million to cease a lease for 490,000 sq. toes of workplace area close to its San Francisco headquarters. That approach, it would not need to pay at the least $440 million in hire.

WATCH: Dropbox CEO on ‘virtual first’ initiative for employees to work-from-home

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