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The announcement comes as major companies, especially tech companies, throughout North America make extend their work-from-home policies through the end of the year or make other significant employee changes since the pandemic has shifted company culture online.
"As of today, Shopify is a digital-by-default company," Lutke tweeted. "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."
Lutke went on to explain how the pandemic has altered workplace culture.
"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," he said.
He added that "the work experience should be the same for everyone who works together at Shopify" no matter where people are working from, and the company will use "use the best digital communications tools to work together."
Lutke concluded by listing the many ways in which Shopify has changed since it was created and how it will continue to change with time and adapt to new environments. He said he disagrees with the misconception that if you have a good company culture, "you have to hold on to it," saying, "The trick is to evolve it forward with your environment."
"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," he said.
Last week, the social media platform Twitter announced it would give its employees the option to work from home indefinitely even after the coronavirus pandemic ends, as its corporate offices are not expected to reopen to the majority of employees until at least September.
Microsoft has also extended its remote work policy to at least October, but CEO Satya Nadella has warned that a permanent work-from-home policy would be detrimental to social interaction and mental health.
Other tech and financial giants like Facebook, Google, Visa and Mastercard have extended their work-from-home policies through the fall or the end of 2020. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday that the company is moving toward more remote work options over the next decade.