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.
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.”
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.
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.”