At Dropbox, our mission has always been to create tools that help people from all across the globe work together. But in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that has confined most working adults to their homes, the need to be able to collaborate with teammates as effectively as if you were in the same room has taken on a whole new meaning and urgency.
The sudden move from occasional remote work to a fully distributed work environment has posed questions and challenges for all our teams. But we believe the Dropbox culture we all value can work anywhere, so we’ve collaborated with our teams across the world to identify solutions that can help us all stay healthy, happy, and productive in every area of our lives.
Perhaps the hottest topic of discussion in the last couple weeks has been how to protect mental health as well as physical health when entering a distributed work environment that often involves shelter-in-place orders from state and local officials. One of our most popular Slack channels as of late is called #wfh-wellness where our wellness managers share content regularly. Their tips, as well as run guided stretching and workouts via video, are keeping us all moving at our own convenience.
It’s important that we also take care of our brains as well as our bodies. For those who need a moment of mental relief from their work, we’re offering a daily group meditation via Zoom, with themes to encourage exploration into different areas of mindfulness. We also encourage our team members to take as many breaks as they need to recharge and return to do their best work. “Sorry, I have a walk scheduled then” is now a meeting invite response we can get behind!
In another nod to our physical environments impacting the way we think and the way we work, we’re also invested in setting our team members up for success with their home office specs. At the start of our need to work from home, we provided employees with a productivity allowance to purchase equipment such as chargers, keyboards, and monitors to help maintain productivity. We want to ensure that our team members are set up for distributed work success.
Just because we’re not in our offices doesn’t mean we’re forgetting about our new employees, who are still being onboarded virtually, and are no less for it. Employees that were hired as we were going fully remote are still being trained virtually, and are no less for it. One recent hire who would has been working out of one of our international offices said, “Onboarding was supposed to be in San Francisco, but had to be done virtually, and was great despite the global pandemic happening all around us… great systems and processes and people genuinely care about your success.”
Lastly, since we know our culture is such a major part of Dropbox’s world, we’re exploring how we can still connect while practicing healthy social distancing. Some of our team members have shared with us their personal tips for making time to connect on a personal level, such as taking the first five minutes of a video call to talk about the most recent thing they watched or the latest craft they’ve created in their spare time. And we’re experimenting with the possibility of hosting virtual events that would have taken place in our offices otherwise.
We’re all in this together, and we know our Dropboxers will come out stronger on the other side of this crisis. You can learn more about our values and the benefits we offer our employees that help them thrive, no matter where they’re working, here.