Dropbox employees to permanently work from home as part of new 'virtual first' approach

Cloud storage company's mandatory work from home policy is extended through June 2021

Dropbox announced Tuesday that it will begin taking a 'virtual first' approach by allowing employees to permanently work from home.

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“Remote work (outside an office) will be the primary experience for all employees and the day-to-day default for individual work,” the company said in a blog post.

The cloud storage company also noted that it is currently converting its existing real estate into flexible coworking spaces called "Dropbox Studios," to offer an alternative for employees who would prefer to work in an office environment once it's safe to do so.

JULY IS NEW TARGET FOR REOPENING OFFICES AFTER COVID-19

The new Dropbox Studios will be located in San Francisco, Seattle and Austin in the U.S. as well as its location in Dublin, Ireland. These offices will specifically be for "collaboration and community-building" rather than solo work. The company said that utilization of the studios will vary based on team needs, and that additional studios may be set up as Dropbox's "geographic distribution and employee concentration" changes.

"While there may be some exceptions based on team and role, employees will also have flexibility to relocate outside of locations where we currently have offices. There will be some parameters but the choices will be much greater," Dropbox added. "As a result, we expect Dropbox to become more geographically distributed over time, and hope this offers our teams more choices in where they live, work, and hire from."

In addition, Dropbox will impose "non-linear workdays", which will allow employees to design their own schedules beyond the company's core collaboration hours between time zones and will launch a Virtual First Toolkit to offer resources on how to manage and work effectively in the remote work environment.

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The company's work-from-home policy began back in March as the coronavirus pandemic began to spread across the United States. According to the company's internal surveys, nearly 90% of Dropbox employees said they are more productive at home and have no desire to return to a five-day-in-office workweek.

As a result, Dropbox is also extending its mandatory work-from-home policy through June 2021.

"We’re living through a challenging time. But we believe it brings an opportunity to redesign the way we work for the better," the company said. "While we think Virtual First is the right choice, it’s new for us and we know we may not get it 100% right immediately. So we’re committed to maintaining a learning mindset—to staying open to new information and feedback and iterating over time until we do."

Dropbox is the latest technology company to offer its employees the ability to work from home permanently, following announcements by Microsoft, Twitter, Slack, and Facebook.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
DBXDROPBOX19.89-0.43-2.12%
MSFTMICROSOFT CORP.214.22-5.44-2.48%
TWTRTWITTER INC.45.82+0.01+0.02%
FBFACEBOOK INC.261.40-4.53-1.70%

Meanwhile, Google, Ford Motor Company, American Express, and Uber are among the companies that have either offered or implemented mandatory extensions of their work-from-home policies through summer 2021. In addition, JPMorgan Chase said last week that up to 30% of its staff will work from home on a rotating basis.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
GOOGLALPHABET INC.1,529.95-37.75-2.41%
FFORD MOTOR COMPANY7.59-0.08-1.04%
AXPAMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY102.47-2.44-2.33%
UBERUBER TECHNOLOGIES INC.34.22+0.50+1.48%
JPMJP MORGAN CHASE & CO.99.80-1.71-1.68%

Dropbox had more than 2,800 employees as of Dec. 31, according to its latest 8K.

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