Most Shopify employees won’t return to office after coronavirus pandemic, CEO says

Employees at Shopify will continue to work from home even after the novel coronavirus pandemic ends, the booming Canadian tech giant announced Thursday.

The e-commerce platform developer, headquartered in Ottawa with more than 5,000 employees in Toronto, Waterloo, Vancouver and around the world, will keep its offices closed until the end of 2021 to prepare for the company’s permanent work-for-home reality, CEO Tobi Lutke tweeted Thursday morning.

When those offices do reopen, most employees will continue to work from home.

“Shopify is a digital by default company,” Lutke tweeted.

“Office centricity is over.”

Shopify, which surpassed more than 1,000 employees in its hometown of Ottawa last year and briefly overtook RBC as Canada’s most valuable company on the Toronto Stock Exchange a few weeks ago, was an early adopter of remote working amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The company asked its entire staff to work from home starting March 11, with Lutke noting then that a large portion of the company’s workforce already worked remotely.

Lutke said in his tweets Thursday that every Shopify employee will now have the same experience no matter where they work.

He noted it will also help the company connect to the merchants it serves, as many direct-to-consumer businesses that use the Shopify platform to power their online stores also work from home.

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