Skip to content (Press Enter)
Work, Perspective

Why Virtual First is "the best perk ever"

By Thibaut Lasfargues
Published on September 28, 2022

When I talk with friends about my experience as a Dropbox employee living in Montpellier, their first questions are always about Dropbox’s Virtual First approach, which allows all employees to work fully remotely.  “How is it to work fully remotely? Don’t you feel too isolated from your team? How do you create connection with your peers, or with clients? How do you separate work from life?”

So I’ve put together this little compilation of a few reasons why I personally think working remotely is the best perk ever. 

First things first, defining “Virtual First”: what does that mean at Dropbox? 

At Dropbox, “Virtual First,” means that remote work is the primary experience for Dropbox employees. This means employees have the flexibility to be based pretty much anywhere. This applies to all employees, from Engineering to Sales and beyond, and there is no such thing as a hybrid model where one has to come to the office once or twice a week. That doesn’t mean Dropbox has no office: we have Dropbox Studios, which are flexible spaces that can be used for occasional in-person collaboration, meetings, and events. 

Choosing where you live is fundamental for well-being

There’s no need to explain why choosing where you live is an essential component of happiness. We all have different reasons to pick a particular place, from being closer to family and friends, to preferences on food or weather, to even as a way to build your resume. 

When I lived somewhere just for a job, I found it hard to be super involved at work when in the back of my head I was thinking “okay, one more year and I’m gone.” My previous job also required weekly travel, often abroad. While this freedom was exciting at first, it ended up being tiring in the long run as I wasn’t able to truly settle in one place.

Living where you want, you are able to remove this pressure, commit way more if you want, and even consider a long-term career within the company! On top of that, you have the opportunity to plan for the future. 

In a work environment fully designed for Virtual First, you don’t feel isolated from your team or from the rest of the company

As said above, at Dropbox, everyone’s remote, so all aspects of work are designed for the Virtual First environment, including social interactions with colleagues. We have plenty of resources to get to know our co-workers in our close teams, or in our regions, or even around the world. For example, we can join virtual coffee chats where we’re randomly matched with a colleague to simply meet each other and have a conversation, and virtual events of all kinds (cooking, gardening, escape games, etc.). Dropbox also launched ‘Neighborhoods’ this year, where you can get to know people living in the same area as you! We have our own slack channels to connect virtually and we get together in-person for fun events like Happy Hours.  

On top of that, teams regularly organize offsites where you can get to know each other in person. For example, my team organizes a get-together once per quarter. In Q2 we were in Dublin, and in Q3 we were in Paris, which I’m personally excited about.

Employees at a meal
Group photo of employees
As the only Dropboxer in Montpellier, I have often thought that my experience would have been completely different in a hybrid model, where probably the majority of the French team would have been located around Paris. But thanks to Virtual First, there are Dropboxers not only in Paris but also in Bordeaux, Marseille, Biarritz, Nantes… we are really spread out across the country, which is amazing! 

You can control your work life balance

Virtual First is designed to help foster flexibility in how and where we work, from offering a stipend to help set up your home office to how we structure our day. In my case, I got myself a standing desk, an extra screen and a comfortable chair that I situated next to the window - I really couldn’t ask for a better spot! Dropbox has also defined Core Collaboration Hours, a set block of time based on your region in which you are available for meetings, while the rest of your day is reserved for focus time or personal life needs. 

If you’re wondering if Virtual First could work for you, I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have, so feel free to reach out! 

Interested in working for a Virtual First company? Check out our open roles

Written by:

Thibaut Lasfargues

Montpellier, France


Account Manager