Shopify moving majority of employees to permanent remote work

Shopify Inc. is moving the majority of its employees to permanent work-from-home arrangements and closing its offices until 2021.

Until recently, work happened in the office,” tweeted Tobi Lutke, chief executive officer of Shopify on Thursday. “We’ve always had some people remote, but they 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-from-home] setup.”

Going forward, the company will be digital by default. According to its careers page, Shopify employees will have a home office allowance. Connecting with fellow colleagues will be based on “when the sun’s up for everyone on your team.”

Read: Remote working, distributed workforces could be part of new normal post-coronavirus

Lutke said the move would allow the company to recruit talent from around the world that “otherwise couldn’t [work for the company] because of our previous default to proximity.”

Shopify follows other technology giants in making the move to work from home a permanent one. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook Inc., said on a livestream on Thursday that as many as 50 per cent of the company’s employees could be working remotely in the next five to 10 years and that Facebook expects to increase its remote hiring dramatically over time.

Jennifer Christie, Twitter Inc.’s vice-president of people, said in a blog post earlier this month that the company’s employees could continue to work from home forever.

“The past few months have proven we can make that work,” she wrote. “So if our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen. If not, our offices will be their warm and welcoming selves, with some additional precautions, when we feel it’s safe to return.”

Read: Twitter to allow employees to work from home ‘forever’