Dropbox goes 'virtual-first' with permanent remote working

Four on-demand in-person studios will be established in San Fran, Seattle, Austin and Dublin

The Dropbox logo and website displayed on a smartphone and laptop, respectively

Dropbox has told its staff that permanent remote working will become the norm, joining a string of the world’s biggest tech companies in abandoning physical office spaces in favour of working virtually.

The existing working from home policy the company has adopted will continue until at least June 2021, in line with policies adopted by the majority of tech companies due to the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

The company has, however, also outlined plans to establish at least four Dropbox Studios in sites across the world when it’s safe to do so, starting with San Francisco, Seattle, Austin and Dublin, for employees who prefer to work in-person.

“We believe the data shows the shift to remote work, though abrupt, has been successful overall,” the company said in a blog post. As a company, we’ve continued to serve our customers without interruption and shipped new products and features.  

“But things aren’t perfect. Back-to-back video conferences, constant notifications, and isolation from peers can be overwhelming. In our study with the EIU, workers also say company culture suffers with no in-person interaction, risk of miscommunication is higher, and it’s harder to start new projects with multiple collaborators. There are many things people miss about the office.”

Becoming a virtual-first company means remote working will become the default for all employees and the day-to-day default for individual work.

The remote experience will go one step further with “non-linear workdays” too, meaning core collaboration hours will be set up with overlap between time zones, with employees encouraged to design their own schedules beyond that. 

Dropbox will also invest in a holistic ecosystem of resources, including a dedicated team, to support employees and track progress by measuring impacts on productivity, engagement, and culture so the firm can continue to adapt. 

The company’s Virtual First Toolkit, comprising guidance about supporting the remote workforce, is also being open-sourced, meaning any learnings picked up along the journey will be shared with the wider industry.

Managers also hope the virtual-first approach will give the firm an opportunity to build an even stronger, more diverse workforce as it hires from increasingly varied backgrounds and perspectives. 

News of Dropbox's new "virtual first" approach comes just days after Microsoft announced that staff will be given the option to work remotely on a permanent basis

Featured Resources

Unlocking collaboration: Making software work better together

How to improve collaboration and agility with the right tech

Download now

Four steps to field service excellence

How to thrive in the experience economy

Download now

Six things a developer should know about Postgres

Why enterprises are choosing PostgreSQL

Download now

The path to CX excellence for B2B services

The four stages to thrive in the experience economy

Download now

Recommended

Continental and AWS unveil cloud-based automotive software
Software

Continental and AWS unveil cloud-based automotive software

15 Apr 2021
Varian and Google to co-develop AI-based cancer diagnostic platform
artificial intelligence (AI)

Varian and Google to co-develop AI-based cancer diagnostic platform

12 Apr 2021
Google adds new compliance and security certifications for Google Cloud
compliance

Google adds new compliance and security certifications for Google Cloud

9 Apr 2021
IBM’s public cloud for banking is now generally available
public cloud

IBM’s public cloud for banking is now generally available

7 Apr 2021

Most Popular

Microsoft is submerging servers in boiling liquid to prevent Teams outages
data centres

Microsoft is submerging servers in boiling liquid to prevent Teams outages

7 Apr 2021
University of Hertfordshire's entire IT system offline after cyber attack
cyber attacks

University of Hertfordshire's entire IT system offline after cyber attack

15 Apr 2021
How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

8 Apr 2021