Canada's most valuable company just shut their offices for the rest of the year
The global pandemic has undoubtedly impacted the way Canada's workforce operates across the board, and now the most valuable company in the country is proving that to be more true than ever before.
Shopify, the e-commerce platform that became the most valuable company in Canada just a few weeks ago, announced that starting today, they're a "a digital by default company."
CEO Tobi Lutke took to Twitter this morning to explain that this means the company's offices will remain closed until 2021 while they "rework them for this new reality," and most of the company's employees will continue to work remotely after that point.
"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," Lutke wrote in a Twitter thread about the change.
"This means that the work experience should be the same for everyone who works together at Shopify no matter where they are working from. Everyone will be in their own tile during meetings and we will use the best digital communications tools to work together."
Shopify has had many big transitions. The first was when Snowdevil became Shopify. Becoming a venture-backed company in 2010 was another. In 2015, on this very day, we went public. In 2017, we reorganized the entire company into multiple product lines. And here we go again. pic.twitter.com/cBKUXYzWLl— Tobi Lutke 🌳🌲🛒🕹 (@tobi) May 21, 2020
This is a major change for a company known for their bougie, Silicon Valley-style offices, but Lutke says many of Shopify's merchants are also digital by default and this change will therefore help them have a better understanding of the companies they work with.
He also says the change will mean that individuals from all over the world can apply to work for Shopify since they're no longer restricted by physical borders.
There are silver linings: 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. (By the way, we’re hiring: https://t.co/veY9Y7dMJR)— Tobi Lutke 🌳🌲🛒🕹 (@tobi) May 21, 2020
And while some are pointing out that this means applying for a job will be more competitive than ever, others are saying this is the way of the future and that Shopify is only the first of many companies that will likely transition to digital workspaces.
Shopify is one of the last companies I thought would go remote-first.— Austen Allred (@Austen) May 21, 2020
This is officially a fundamental shift, now. https://t.co/lf3OKxyMWd
The news also follows Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's announcement that his employees can now choose to work from home permanently, as well as news of a new partnership between Shopify and Facebook revealed just days ago.
"A common misconception about company culture is that if you have a good one, you have to hold on to it. I believe this to be wrong. If you want to have a great culture, the trick is to evolve it forward with your environment. Take the best things with you from version to version," Lutke wrote.
"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. We cannot go back to the way things were. This isn’t a choice; this is the future."
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