Jun 15, 2017 11:10 AM EDT
Automattic, the company behind WordPress, is shutting down its office in San Francisco because its employees refuse to go to work anymore. Rather, they prefer to work remotely from home or any other places.
The WordPress office is anyone's dream workspace - spacious and well-designed. Yet, only a handful of employees reports for work every day. According to Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg, only five people go there and enjoy the 15,000-square foot office.
The number barely represents one percent of the company's total workers. To date, Automattic has 550 employees who'd rather work anywhere but at the San Francisco office.
The culture of working remotely among WordPress employees is not surprising. Automattic employees have been given the choice to either work in the office or other places of their choice. In fact, the company gives an additional $250 stipend to those who choose to work remotely.
Thus, WordPress is closing its doors not because of wrong reasons. In fact, the move can greatly save a lot of money for the company.
While Automattic embraces the culture of working remotely, some companies, like Yahoo and IBM, are not as enthusiastic. These companies believe that if people work side-by-side, they will be more creative and nimble. Furthermore, it can prevent misunderstanding as people communicate with each other face-to-face.
While this is true, a Gallup report revealed that employees who work remotely or some of the time put on longer working hours than those who go to the office. However, companies like WordPress have made some adjustments to their working dynamics.
For example, software company Elastic has 500 employees in 35 countries. Yet, they have no physical headquarters in all these areas. To foster company camaraderie and make the company culture alive, Elastic flies all of its employees in one place once a year so they can meet each other.
As Elastic CEO Shay Banon said, there is a danger that misunderstandings and conflicts can blow out of proportion if they don't know each other and the only method of interaction is through email or messaging apps.
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