Boots & Sabers

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2143, 13 Aug 20

REI Selling Brand New Campus as Employees Go Virtual

This is a shift that will accelerate and be permanent. I’ve been a remote worker for over 15 years. I can’t imagine having to actually go to an office every day anymore and it would take a LOT of money to make me do it again. I expect many others will find the virtues of remote working to be alluring.

Outdoor retailer REI is selling its newly completed — and currently unused — 8-acre corporate campus in Bellevue, Washington, instead shifting to a “less centralized approach to its headquarters presence in the Seattle area.”
“The dramatic events of 2020 have challenged us to reexamine and rethink every aspect of our business and many of the assumptions of the past. That includes where and how we work,” said REI CEO Eric Artz in a statement. “As a result, our new experience of ‘headquarters’ will be very different than the one we imagined.”
The future “headquarters” will instead consist of multiple satellite campuses in the Seattle area, the retailer said, rather than one central location. Remote working will be the “normalized model” for headquarters employees.
The new strategy, Artz argued, has benefits. Remote working offers greater flexibility for employees to live outside of the Puget Sound region, he said, which would shrink the retailer’s carbon footprint.

2143, 13 August 2020

1 Comment

  1. Merlin

    Can’t help but notice that nowhere in the article do they mention the dollar size of the absolute bath REI is going to take abandoning this new corporate campus. REI might be a consumer co-op, but they still have investors. They might want to sprinkle around better foo-foo dust than a shrunken carbon footprint.

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