Exploring Dropbox HQ in San Francisco
There’s something exciting about the growth of big tech companies in the last decade. The ones that threw out the suits and the pretence and focussed on employee engagement and satisfaction as the pathway to growth.
Dropbox has always been at the top of my radar because of this. That, and I use their Dropbox for Business every single day. Our company is one of 200,000 in the world using the business product with over 500 million registered users across 200 countries on Dropbox!
Walking into Dropbox Headquarters in San Francisco last week, the energy was palpable. Corporate companies get a bad wrap for culture and stifling creativity but it was obvious walking around the offices and eavesdropping on a few conversations that this wasn’t the case here. There’s 5 levels of the office with different departments like sales, tech, development etc all in their own zone defined by the colour of the carpet and the décor. There's vending machines for Apple products if your keyboard or mouse breaks, there's stationary everywhere and stand up desks.
My favourite room was this one! Heaven!!! I would LOVE to sit at this desk all day in the quiet zone and work the day away.
Most of the approximate 1000 employees here though looked to love the collaboration. There were people huddled over each others computers, in conference rooms throwing out ideas, writing things all over the walls. It almost made me want to hand my resume in at the front desk.
I know that there are countless Silicon Valley companies who try to entice the best talent with over the top employee perks that we couldn’t even dream of in Australia. Check out some examples here. But at Dropbox, they're a ten year old sustainable company and it seems the most important is the food. And there’s lots of it! Multiple restaurants with multiple cuisines that look incredible. My guide, Charlie, from Corporate Communications is a true company man and tells me that as a company, Dropbox wants to focus on their team doing what they’re best at and not having to worry about something like what to eat, which consumes too much decision making space in most people’s minds. They even had a whole café complete with their own coffee roasters. Impressive.
I also got to explore Dropbox Paper which seems to be trying to replace Google Docs & Sites. You can check it out here.
One of the main things I learnt in Dropbox HQ was that having a large corporate (and one that’s 10 years old) doesn’t mean you have to stop being scrappy and doesn’t mean you have to lose that start up culture. I also learnt to listen to your team for what’s going to make the greatest difference in their lives to create a great energy in the workplace as it’s that energy that’s going to produce results.