It is during the tough times that some of the most innovative ideas are born. This has been especially true in this pandemic forcing firms to innovate and keep serving their customers amidst strict social distancing rules.
Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges based in San Francisco was forced to allow its employees to work remotely. Most other companies and organizations were subjected to the same situation.
However, now that some cities and towns in the United States are reopening up gradually, there are a few rules that companies need to adhere to before they can resume operations. The biggest is social distancing – making sure that people stay without six feet of each other.
In an open letter to Coinbase employees, its CEO Brian Armstrong has expressed his reservation on how small the company’s headquarters are and how hard it would be to house all the current employees while respecting the public health rules. He noted that “even if we moved into every floor of our SF HQ, we wouldn’t have enough space to bring all current SF employees back, let alone hire more.”
Armstrong announced that Coinbase will be a “remote-first company” once the pandemic is over meaning that its employees will have the option to work remotely as opposed to using an office. HE estimates that between 20 and 60% of the company’s workforce will be able to work remotely going forward. “This will require a huge shift in how we do things,” he said.
So far, thanks to the mandatory social distancing rules in place and the follow-up lockdown, Coinbase has managed to maintain operations with minimal usage of the office. This goes to show how unnecessary conventional work logistics is in charting out the future of work.
“Over the last two months, I have come to believe that not only is remote work here to stay but that it represents a huge opportunity and strategic advantage for us,” he said.
Coinbase now becomes the latest company to embrace remote work following a similar announcement by social media giant Twitter which is offering its employees the chance to work remotely permanently once the lockdown is lifted. Binance is also another company that has been touting its remote work-friendliness since pre-lockdown as a way of embracing decentralized work.
Armstrong envisions a scenario where most of its workers are distributed across the country. “Over time, the vision is to have one floor of office space in ten cities, rather than ten floors of office space in one city,” he said. Not to mention that with a reduced need for office space, the company will cut down on overhead costs.