Canadian tech giant Shopify is changing their work model for good. After months of employees working from home, they've decided to permanently let go of their office spaces, and switch to a "digital by default" model. This change goes into effect today, according to the Ottawa Citizen.
Tobi Lutke, founder and CEO of Shopify, tweeted out the company's decision. "As of today," he wrote, "Shopify is a digital by default company. We will keep our offices closed until 2021 so that we can rework them for this new reality. And after that, most will permanently work remotely. Office centricity is over."
Lutke went on to tweet that "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 [work from home] setup."
Shopify's tech platform is used by online merchants to assist in shipping, tracking and product sales analysis.
Shopify has a workforce of 5,000. These workers have been working remotely since March 16 due to the coronavirus restrictions across the country, and now they will continue that practice.
At the time, the company told employees that the work from home directive was to "help play a part in reducing the spread of the virus." There was no indication at the time that this would be a permanent measure.
Shopify has a long history of remote work, however, and employees are already able to work from any location. Employees are already well familiar with video conferencing, use laptops over desktops, and "best practices to ensure they remain productive and connected."
The company moved into the top spot as Canada's most valuable corporation earlier in May. They'd been in second place until that point.
While the coronavirus pandemic has had a poor effect on the economy, Shopify has grown. About half of their C$121 billion was added to their market value was added in the past month.