Tobi Lutke, Shopify´s President, stated on Twitter in 2020 that the office would no longer be the epicenter of work-life at the tech company. The company started implementing remote work arrangements back in 2014. But now that remote work has become a reality for most, Shopify is not returning to the traditional work model.
Although many companies share Shopify’s new remote culture, other big tech companies like Apple and Facebook still defend that office-center culture is better.
Shopify´s Remote Work Policies
The e-commerce tech company piloted a large-scale remote work model for 600 employees in 2014 when the company’s new headquarters were under construction. However, the experiment helped Shopify prepare for the pandemic that forced millions of companies across the globe to implement remote work.
Harley Finkelstein, Shopify’s CEO, declared that the company is no longer focusing its culture around offices. As he mentioned in an interview by Fortune, “office centricity is over.” Employees at Shopify have the flexibility to choose where they want to work.
“We’ve actually gone as far as to change the dateline in Shopify press releases from “Ottawa, Canada” to “Internet, Everywhere” because we are a company that is everywhere. A major tenet is that we don’t want to dictate where you live. In the past, and even still now, employees needed to commit to living within commuting distance of their office. Work should be built around mission, not headquarters.”
Shopify has now embraced a digital-first work model. However, in-person collaboration is still valuable, and the company will still encourage getting together, not so much for working but for strengthening the company’s culture and relationships.
The headquarters located in Ottawa and Toronto we will transform into communal gathering spaces whose aim is to boost collaboration. Teams can get together to discuss projects instead of focusing on individual work that can be done anywhere.