Shopify's CEO Tobi Lutke announced the e-commerce giant will be keeping its offices closed until 2021, giving the company time to "rework" them for this "new reality."
As of today, "Shopify is a digital by default company," said Lutke, adding that even once the company's offices reopen, most employees will permanently work remotely.
Shopify's CEO took to Twitter Thursday morning to announce the news to his 127,000-plus followers, saying that "office centricity is over."
The Ottawa-based e-commerce giant transitioned to becoming a remote-working company on March 16, as COVID-19 restrictions were put in place across the country.
"COVID is challenging us all to work together in new ways," said Lutke. "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."
"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," said Lutke.
Lutke added that the company hasn't "figured this whole thing out," and that "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."
Lutke said there is a silver lining to this and now the company has the opportunity to be joined by "incredible individuals" from around the world that otherwise couldn’t work for them before due to proximity.
This announcement comes as the e-commerce company started to ramp up its real estate with multiple offices in Canada's largest city, including its new space in the King and Portland Centre, which is steps away from its first office in Toronto on Spadina.
The company previously announced it would become the anchor tenant in The Well development project at Spadina Avenue and Front Street, with its office set to span 253,995 square feet. The Well is set to open in 2022.
The tech company currently employees more than 5,000 people with offices in Ottawa, Toronto, Waterloo, Vancouver, and Montreal, as well as in the US and overseas.