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Thanks Hrishikesh, for adding this topic to the sidebar. Would like to share my views on this :)

Last week, Dropbox announced that it will become a “Virtual First” company, explicitly choosing against a hybrid setup. This means that its employees will work remotely primarily, but will occasionally go to offices for more collaborative and team-building work. 

As remote working transformed the way people work, companies are coming up with various models and this by far seems to be the most practical one.

• One of the biggest drawbacks of the hybrid model is that it results in two very different employee experiences that could result in issues with things like inclusion or inequity. As many industry leaders including Sid say that the hybrid model offers the worst of both the worlds in this famous article.

• Plus, the office economy is worth trillions of dollars and with the entire world switching to remote, it creates a ripple effect that devastates business that depends on office workers. By going virtual first, these businesses can get a breathing space to recoup and adapt to the current scenario. 

• The shift to remote working has also rendered co-working spaces obsolete with startups and small companies ending their leases earlier, citing remote work. But with the virtual first model, remote companies can use co-working spaces for things like strategy setting, team building, and community events. Co-working companies will likely adopt a ‘Dropbox Studios’ model by removing individual desks and creating more space for collaboration.

Keen to hear the clan’s thoughts on the 'Virtual First' model?


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    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Mark! I agree with a lot of your points. I do wonder about the article and the argument that having two different employee experiences is problematic. I think choice and flexibility are really powerful for employees so having the option to choose the experience that best fits their needs could really be a benefit. That absolutely requires that people be informed about the differences, and that leadership not show a preference or bias for one model over the other. That's probably where the inequity would sneak in. 

    I think coworking companies have a real opportunity in the post-Covid world. I imagine many people will become more transient and work "on the road". That creates a much larger pool of potential customers. I know there are some good networks of independent coworking spaces and I'm hopeful that they will thrive once things open back up again and people are more comfortable moving around. 

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      I think the article says it is very likely for leaders to be biased towards a person they see working vs the person working from home.

      This is a great point, Nancy!

      That absolutely requires that people be informed about the differences, and that leadership not show a preference or bias for one model over the other.

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        Agree with your points, Nancy. With a large number of people working remotely, coworking spaces could become the hang-out spot for workers looking to socialize and stay connected.