Shopify to keep offices closed until 2021, most employees to work from home permanently

·2 min read
POLAND - 2019/12/11: In this photo illustration a Shopify logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

In a Thursday tweet, Shopify’s (SHOPT.TO) (SHOP) CEO Tobias Lütke announced that its offices will be closed until 2021 due to COVID-19.

“After that, most will permanently work remotely,” he said. “Office centricity is over.”

The Ottawa-based e-commerce company previously indicated that working from home is not something new or different for the many of its employees. More than 5,000 employees that are currently working from home.

In his tweet thread, Lütke said that the dynamics of the workplace has dramatically changed indicating that companies have had people work remotely and used “the internet as a bridge to the office.”

“This will reverse now. The future of the office is to act as an on-ramp to the same digital workplace that you can access from your [work-form-home] set up,” he wrote.

Lütke said this means everyone should have the same experience despite their location.

“This is actually true for our merchants in many cases as well. Many [direct-to-consumer] companies are digital by default. It will be good for us to have more empathy to building Shopify in this way and preparing it for the new requirements,” he wrote.

Brittany Forsyth, Shopify’s chief talent officer, said in an email that the company will be learning new ways of working and will be tapping into new talent to help its merchants.

“While we are moving to a decentralized, remote way of working, we are committed to retaining recruitment hubs in our current and future Canadian markets,” she wrote.

“Digital by default is the mental model we’ll use to transform our ways of working, so we can match the ingenuity and creativity we’re seeing our merchants exhibit as they adapt.”

A Shopify spokesperson said the company plans to redesign its office space as well to adapt to the new changes.

“We still have a lot of details to work through to map out how and when teams will come together.”

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