Close-up of Dropbox app on the screen of an iPhone.
Image: © tashatuvango/

Dropbox in Dublin going ‘virtual first’ with permanent remote working plan

14 Oct 2020

Collaborative spaces and non-linear workdays are on the cards for Dropbox employees in Dublin and further afield as the pandemic presses on.

Online collaboration and cloud-storage platform Dropbox has said it will become a “virtual-first company” as a result of Covid-19. It is the latest in a series of tech companies to announce its long-term plans for remote and hybrid working, following Fujitsu, Indeed, Siemens and more.

In a blog post, Dropbox said that its mandatory work-from-home policy will extend until the end of June 2021, but remote work will become the “day-to-day default for individual work” at the company.

“This year’s abrupt shift to remote work was jarring for us, along with everyone else,” the company said. “But we’re fortunate that our product helped us transition pretty seamlessly, and that it helped others too – we’ve seen increased adoption and usage this year.

“As virtually all work becomes digital, organising all your team’s content in one place has never felt so important. We believe the data shows the shift to remote work, though abrupt, has been successful overall.”

Dropbox Studios

Dropbox staff will also have access to new communal spaces called Dropbox Studios. These will be set up “once it’s safe to do so” to allow teams to collaborate in person, the company said. Studios will be developed in cities where Dropbox already has offices and a high concentration of employees – Dublin, San Francisco, Seattle and Austin, to start – and there may be on-demand spaces in other locations.

“Every employee aligned to one of our offices will have access to a Studio,” the company said. “To ensure a fair and consistent employee experience, we felt it was important to be prescriptive about how these spaces are used. So Dropbox Studios will be specifically for collaboration and community-building, and employees will not be able to use them for solo work.”

Non-linear workdays

As well as setting up Studios, Dropbox will roll out “non-linear workdays” to all staff. Employees in different locations will be required to work during “core collaboration hours” that overlap between time zones. Beyond that, the company said, employees will decide their own schedules in a bid to “prioritise impact and results instead of hours worked”.

To help workers adjust, it has published a virtual-first toolkit that is publicly available. It includes guides on shifting your mindset, managing your time, staying well, supporting your team and communicating effectively – all in a virtual-first environment.

Dropbox CEO and co-founder Drew Houston referred to this year’s pivot to remote working as an “unprecedented” experiment.

“Many of the things we’ve been trying to solve for as a company have intensified during this time – always-on hours, constant notifications, fragmented tools,” he said. “We’re laser-focused on designing products to transform how remote work happens and by living the reality of virtual first day-to-day, we think we’ll better understand our customers’ needs and be well positioned to evolve our product accordingly.”

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

Loading now, one moment please! Loading