Recreational Equipment Inc. has a newly completed corporate headquarters in Seattle—and lo and behold, it's already for sale. The Wall Street Journal calls it yet another instance of a company selling off central offices to raise cash during the coronavirus pandemic. But REI, which sells outdoorsy stuff like hiking and camping gear, says it's also more comfortable with employees working from home. "This year has shown us our home is not a building," REI President and CEO Eric Artz told workers in a video call, per a press release. "Our home is wherever we find ourselves doing our best work, pursuing our outdoor passions, serving our communities. Serving each other."
The Journal looks at other companies that plan to let more employees work remotely, like Twitter and Facebook. Jamie Hodari, who heads the co-working company Industrious, says the trend to small offices and flexible work schedules is just being accelerated by the coronavirus: "This is going to be a thing you will hear from hundreds of Fortune 500 companies," he says. As for REI, RetailWire reports that it plans to open three smaller Seattle locations to allow for at least some in-person collaboration. That said, Chief Customer Officer Ben Steele tells the Journal that collaboration also works fine when everyone's sitting at home. (Some companies, however, are yearning to get back to the office.)