Dropbox goes Virtual First

Remote vs in-office work? Dropbox strives to find the balance.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) announced the results of a research study commissioned by Dropbox analysing the macroeconomic cost of lost focus, the level at which knowledge workers feel they can focus, and what helps and hinders them. In response to the abrupt shift to remote work among knowledge workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the EIU also conducted an accompanying survey on the impacts the transition has had on knowledge workers. 

Dropbox also announced its plan to become a Virtual First company, an approach that provides the increased flexibility of working in distributed teams while maintaining meaningful access to in-person engagement.  

For full results and additional insights of both studies, please visit here.

Dropbox goes Virtual First

We believe the EIU data shows the dramatic shift to remote work has largely been a success. The majority of employees already say they don’t want to return to the pre-pandemic office schedule. But the drawbacks have been apparent as well, with many employees expressing a desire for increased connection with colleagues. 

So, Dropbox created a Virtual First approach that balances the desire for increased flexibility and freedom in how and where we work without sacrificing the in-person connection that is so critical to the company and highly-valued by employees.

Being Virtual First means that remote work will be the primary experience for all Dropbox employees. Our physical spaces, called Dropbox Studios, will be hubs to spark creativity, build community, and maintain company culture. These spaces, however, will no longer be for daily individual work. 

“This year’s sudden shift to distributed work due to the COVID-19 pandemic was abrupt and unprecedented,” said Drew Houston, CEO and co-founder of Dropbox. “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.”

By balancing the flexibility and freedom of remote work with retaining human, in-person engagement, Dropbox hopes it will gain the best of both worlds and see clear long-term benefits. The company knows that this is a new way of working and is committed to taking an iterative approach and learning along the way.