Shopify to Work Permanently Remotely- CEO, Tobi Lutke

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SWITZERLAND, MAY 22 – CEO of e-Commerce firm, Shopify, Tobi Lutke has announced that the company will move permanently to remote work, citing new realities occassioned by the COVID-19 pandemic

“As of today, 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.

“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 announced on Thursday.

The Canadian tech guru further explains:

“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.

“This is actually true for our merchants in many cases as well. Many DTC companies are digital by default. It will be good for us to have more empathy in building Shopify in this way and preparing it for the new requirements.

“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.”

According to Lutke, 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.

“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.

“We haven’t figured this whole thing out. There is a lot of change ahead, but that is what we’re good at. “Thrive on change” is written on our (now digital) walls for a reason.” he said

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