A rendered image of what the reimagined Dropbox Dublin office will look like from the outside.
Rendering of the Dropbox Dublin Studio. Image: IA Interior Architects

First look: Dropbox Dublin’s reimagined office to support remote working

8 Jul 2021

Remote working will remain a core part of life at Dropbox and its offices will be redesigned to create spaces for in-person interactions.

As part of its virtual-first working model for staff, Dropbox is showcasing how its redesigned offices will look, starting with its Dublin headquarters.

While remote working will remain a core feature for the company’s employees, Dropbox Studios will become spaces that are purpose-built for collaboration and teamwork.

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Laura Ryan, Dublin site lead and director of international HR at Dropbox, told Siliconrepublic.com that the Dropbox Dublin Studio will open in early 2022.

“Dublin has always been our international HQ and will continue to be so, with a large concentration of employees, so it’s been really exciting to design our first purpose-built Dropbox Studio here. With a blank canvas in front of us, we’ve had the opportunity to be deeply thoughtful about what we want to achieve,” she said.

“Like all our Dropbox Studios, our Dublin space will not cater for solo work, there will be no individual workstations. Instead, the studio is designed for collaboration, which means conference rooms with whiteboards, events spaces with moveable furniture and additional areas for employees to touch down in between meetings and grab a coffee.”

A rendered image of a Dropbox Studio reception.

Image: IA Interior Architects

What employees can expect

Dropbox said its virtual-first strategy means that all employees globally will have flexibility around core collaboration hours – four-hour windows reserved for live meetings and aligned to time zones when teams most overlap.

“For example, a typical day for an EMEA employee could look like taking meetings between 10am and 12pm, and then again between 4pm and 6pm, to allow for cross-time zone collaboration,” said Ryan.

“Teams have the freedom to adapt these as required and time outside of this is reserved for independent, focused work that does not have to be done during the typical working day. Instead, employees can structure their diaries based on their own preferred work patterns, whether they’re early birds, night owls or parents [who] wish to schedule around picking up their children from school.”

Part of the new working model has meant a radical rethink for the company’s culture, in which employees are asked to regularly audit their calendars and assess the necessity of meetings.

“We’ve also asked our employees to design their calendars intentionally, by blocking out the unique structure of their day and signalling where and when they’re available to collaborate with others. Clearly communicating work preferences to the rest of the team is key to making core collaboration hours work.”

Inside Dropbox Studios

Every company site that previously had an office will have access to a Dropbox Studio and the company expects to add more locations as its workforce becomes increasingly distributed.

The studios, which were designed in collaboration with IA Interior Architects, feature larger conference rooms with different layouts to accommodate team meetings.

There will also be classrooms with flexible wall systems and movable furniture to accommodate different needs for development courses and training, as well as community spaces for unwinding.

A rendered image of a communal office space with a long table and a kitchen unit in the background.

Image: IA Interior Architects

The future of work

Distributed work has accelerated due to the pandemic and Ryan said told Siliconrepublic.com that this is in line with how people want to work and live.

“In an internal survey, 75pc of our employees told us that they wanted to work remotely, at least on a regular or partial basis and there are huge benefits to be gained from this.”

She also spoke about the benefits from a global strategy point of view, as no longer being confined to competitive tech hubs means having access to more diverse talent pools. It also gives existing employees more career progression opportunities.

“For example, in Dublin we are seeing employees take on global roles for the first time, that would have previously required them to move to San Francisco. Yet, now due to [the virtual-first approach], they are able to advance their career to new heights, without compromising on where they want or need to be.”

A rendered image of a bright collaborative Dropbox office space with multiple tables for groups.

Image: IA Interior Architects

A small warmly lit room with a kitchenette, small armchair and foot rest.

Image: IA Interior Architects

A rendering of a large conference room with various pieces of furniture.

Image: IA Interior Architects

A long corridor with soft lighting and various seating areas.

Image: IA Interior Architects

A training room with three long tables with many seats in front of three large screens.

Image: IA Interior Architects

A rendering of a busy work lounge with many seats and people.

Image: IA Interior Architects

A small corner where a worker is sitting on a chair beside a window.

Image: IA Interior Architects

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the deputy editor of Silicon Republic in 2020, having worked as the careers editor until June 2019. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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