Flexible work options, including remote work, have increasingly been a priority for employees in recent years. And since the COVID-19 pandemic, more companies have had to find ways to make remote teams effective.
Dropbox, a leading global collaboration platform named to Fast Company‘s Most Innovative Companies list, helps companies navigate remote work. Last September, it unveiled the smart workspace, which brings together all of a team’s content and conversation with the tools they love, so knowledge workers can stay focused, organized, and in sync. Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Bharat Mediratta believes COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on enterprise processes, as companies realize the possibilities of distributed work and the importance of creating healthier work habits.
Don’t Keep ‘Em Separated
Since Co-Founder and CEO Drew Houston launched his cloud-based file storage solution in 2007, Dropbox has accrued 600 million users and became the fastest SaaS business to reach $1 billion in 2017 revenue. The new desktop app, which Mediratta calls a natural extension of existing products, marks the biggest user-facing change in its history.
One of Dropbox’s greatest advantages is how human it feels. For all users, across different operating systems and time zones—it just works. The smart workspace integrates with cloud-based content, including Microsoft and Google products, and an ecosystem of partners, including Slack, Zoom, Atlassian, so teams have the content and tools they need in one place. Dropbox also leverages machine-learning technology to understand user patterns, anticipate next steps, and automate parts of the workflow.
Make The Buzzing Stop
The modern work environment is ripe with distraction, from the buzzing of a mobile phone, to the pinging of a laptop notification, to the dull roar of colleagues—or a family—right beyond your wall. COVID-19 exacerbates the need for solutions that help distributed teams stay focused. “When I started my career, I would go into my office, close the door, and get so much done. These days, it is so different. We have drifted into this mode of always being on—but it doesn’t need to be this way,” Mediratta says.
Dropbox’s open ecosystem integrates popular work apps so people can use the tools they love without having to leave the platform. It can’t make an employee’s roommate turn down the TV volume, but it can facilitate the conversations and files associated with a project, enabling a worker to focus on a meaningful task.
COVID-19 has made work messy and stressful for some, but it also feels more real—more human, Mediratta says. Employees get a glimpse into teammates’ homes on video conference calls. They share hopes and fears. They realize they are lucky to work somewhere that can sustain the crisis. Health is everything, and work/life balance matters, he adds. He hopes businesses hold onto these lessons. “We have made this massive shift into a new mode of working, which could be good for us, as a species, and I am watching as Dropbox becomes the connective tissue for distributed teams,” Mediratta says.