Skip to main content
Home » Career Transformation » Virtual First is a win win for employees

Danny Guillory

Interim Chief People Officer, Dropbox

Laura Ryan

International HRD and Dublin Site Lead, Dropbox

There is no doubt about it, remote work is here to stay. Over the past two years, distributed work has accelerated and people want more flexibility in how they work and live.

During the chaos of the pandemic, Dropbox was amongst the first to shift to its new strategy, Virtual First. This means that remote work is the core experience for its people, which provides the most consistent environment – and a level playing field. 

Danny Guillory, Interim Chief People Officer at Dropbox explains: “We deliberately decided against a “hybrid-remote” model as it can create two very different employee experiences – with those in the office potentially gaining greater visibility than those working remotely.”

Ending the 9-5 workday

Remote work has radically changed the way we work – with the company striving to end the “the 9-5 workday” for its people.

To unlock the full flexibility of remote work, we must move away from the traditional view on what a working day should look like. That’s why, we’ve launched “Core Collaboration Hours” for all employees globally.

Danny Guillory

Aligned to the time zones that teams interact most with, these are set windows of time, reserved for real time collaboration. Outside of these, employees have the freedom to fully design their own schedule, working more effectively whilst gaining back time to focus what’s important to them outside of work.

Lura Ryan, Dropbox’s International HRD and Dublin Site Lead, claims the key to this lies in having both the right culture – and the right tech. Culturally, our people are being forced away from presenteeism – and the mindset of ‘looking busy for the sake of being busy.’ Meanwhile tools that enable virtual collaboration – such as our screen-recording tool, Dropbox Capture – have never been more important in enabling employees to work effectively within distributed teams.”

Hiring remote talent

A huge benefit of this strategy is the company’s ability to widen its talent pool, by recruiting in a wider range of locations. But hiring practices have had to change, as candidates living in remote areas don’t always have the same experience as those in major cities.

“We’ve switched our philosophy to looking for potential, willingness to learn, soft skills – and assessing if somebody could excel in certain tasks or roles, rather than whether they have a proven track or previous experience,” Laura explains. “This will be a critical change in our recruitment strategy moving forwards.”

Next article