No matter where we work: Megan, Isabelle, and Indre on thriving alongside a multicultural Dublin team
Over 5000 miles away from our San Francisco headquarters sits Dropbox’s international hub in Dublin, Ireland. Far from being a simple outpost, the Dublin office is quickly becoming known as a hub for culture and collaboration as well; our amazing employees are always engaged in office bonding, or finding methods to help each other work as best as they can. Dublin’s Megan Smith, Isabelle Urso, and Indre Collins are part of this group.
As an international recruiter, Indre is very familiar with the uncertainty that employees relocating to the Dublin office might face. But she’s witnessed time and time again how, when new people arrive, they are instantly surrounded by an open-arms culture that squelches their fears and reassures them that their move was the right one to make.
“The size of our office, and the tight-knit nature of it, would be the main thing that differentiates us from other locations. It’s almost like this golden medium. It’s not a complete startup environment; we have processes and structures in place and supporting teams, and we’re growing. Yet we’re not as big as some other tech companies. There is still opportunity for people to come in and make an impact, and for that impact to be visible.”
The Dublin office is small enough to allow team members to get to know each other better with frequent events. Fridges across the office are stocked with beverages for Friday happy hours, when many team members gather together in the music room (which is also fully stocked with musical instruments available for employees’ use) for impromptu karaoke sessions. They also host their own parties year-round for holidays such as Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day, or just for fun. As Isabelle puts it, “There’s always a party not so far away!”
This emphasis on community and bonding events has made the Dublin team stronger, and created a welcoming atmosphere for all employees, no matter where they come from. As Dropbox’s international headquarters, the Dublin office is filled with people who come from all corners of the world. Both Isabelle and Megan have found that this incredible diversity is a key part of why they love their jobs.
Isabelle said, “When all these cultures and all these incredibly smart people from all these different backgrounds come together, something beautiful seems to happen. There’s this candid feedback that comes into play, because depending on where you’re from, your way of expressing yourself around the table is very different. You have people who are super open, and people who aren’t. It’s beautiful in a way, because it pushes everyone to speak up. We’re all in the same boat, and we all push each other to become better people and better in the way we work.”
“Part of it is the different nationalities and languages, and the overall buzz,” said Megan. “But predominately it’s the people. From the moment I started, people embraced me and took me in, and there was a mutual respect. No one ever assumes they’re the smartest person in the room, because we’re surrounded by so many smart people who bring so much to the table. A lot of people believe that if you got a job here, you deserve a seat at any table, ever.”
But of course, many of Dropbox’s proverbial tables are located far from Dublin, which makes teamwork and listening to each other a little more complicated. Like many other Dropboxers, who have mastered the art of worldwide collaboration, Megan has learned how to collaborate effectively with her counterparts in other countries.
“One of my team members is in Tokyo. And then I have the team here in Dublin, and we work very closely with the San Francisco team and the Austin team. So one of the things you do is learn how to be super clear. I had to learn how to give all the answers up front. So if my coworker in Tokyo has a question for me, I have to give him the answer and predict all the follow up questions so he doesn’t come in the next morning and need to ask seven more questions. You have to think, ‘am I being super clear? Am I foreseeing anything that might come up?’ and give all that documentation up front.”