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'We cannot go back to the way things were:' Shopify extends office closure to 2021

CEO Tobi Lutke says, "COVID is challenging us all to work together in new ways. We choose to jump in the driver's seat, instead of being passengers to the changes ahead."
2019-01-08 Shopify GL
Shopify Inc./Canadian Press

Shopify is keep its offices closed until 2021 so that it can "rework them for this new reality."

CEO Tobi Lutke published a series of tweets Thursday morning, explaining the decision.

He says, even as we enter 2021, he expects most of his employees will continue to work remotely.

"Office centricity is over," writes Lutke. "Until recently, work happened in the office. 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 #WFH setup."

The CEO wants to make the work experience the same for everyone in his company, no matter where they work from, and thinks it may actually help to have Shopify operate in this way because many of the merchants they serve are in the same situation.

"COVID is challenging us all to work together in new ways. We choose to jump in the driver’s seat, instead of being passengers to the changes ahead," says Lutke. "We cannot go back to the way things were. This isn’t a choice; this is the future."

The Shopify boss explains that he hasn't figured everything out yet, and that there will be more change coming.

"There are silver linings," he adds, "We now have the opportunity to be joined by a whole lot of incredible individuals from around the world that otherwise couldn’t because of our previous default to proximity."




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Mike Vlasveld

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