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RememberSchiff

REI selling new corporate HQ (WA) before it opens

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Posted (edited)

REI now plans to sell it’s new 8-acre, Bellevue corporate campus. In response to the corona virus pandemic their workforce (1000 employees) has moved to multiple “satellite” locations across the Seattle area and that it would “lean into remote working as an engrained, supported and normalized model” that could also allow employees to work outside the region.

Employees who would have worked at the campus, which media reports had called the “most outdoorsy HQ ever” and “like summer camp for grown-ups” for its rooftop terraces, courtyard full of native plants and large sliding doors to the outside, had not yet taken occupancy. Like many office-based employees, they began working from home in March and had been expected to move midsummer.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/08/12/rei-seattle-headquarters-commercial-real-estate/

https://www.geekwire.com/2020/rei-looks-sell-brand-new-seattle-area-hq-pandemic-forces-retailer-rethink-remote-work/

 

Edited by RememberSchiff

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Maybe they can write it off as a donation to BSA and GS/USA ...

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I had this conversation with my banker. They sadly could not back out of a new lease. COVID has proven they don’t need a lot of office space, they’d be better off with a power, phone and internet allowance and home offices, with a conference room and 1/1 rooms for when live meetings are essential. 

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I hear a lot of companies considering this approach, but I think they need to give it more time. After talking with folks who have been working out of their home for years, they aren't so keen on the idea because there is no place to go for stress relief of the work day. In fact, the distractions at home have their own added stresses. One person I know travels, or traveled, a week out of every month and that made the working at home acceptable. Now, he is going crazy.  I know another who is planning to do the same thing, but the present environment only allows very limited travel if any.

Barry

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I think it depends heavily on the individual and how they approach it. 
 

Out of the last 30 years, I would guess almost half my time has been spent in work from home setup. 
 

In my current job, prior to Covid, I would go into the office no more than a couple days a week. And that was only to maintain visibility with other teams. My team is spread across 3 continents (and several states here in the US), but I only have one team member here locally (an we have have the single largest campus in the organization). So the vast majority of my work was virtual even when I went to campus.

For me, my home office is my office. I treat staying at home just like going in, same morning routine etc. My dog does snooze next to me at home, and getting a beverage or going to restroom is a shorter trip. But most things are the same now as six months ago. 
 

In fact, I think I’m more productive, even if less social. 
 

That said, it’s not for everyone. 

 

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I don’t live in Seattle, but have driven the 405 many times during rush hour and traffic can downright suck. There are probably some REI employees doing the happy dance not having to drive in. 

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I used to live in the Seattle area, traffic is a nightmare and has only gotten worse, although I am sure it isn't bad now with Corona.

I think that after Corona passes, many things from this change in lifestyle will stick around. Corporations will find that

A) Brick and Mortars are still on the downward path (they already were)

B) many people will continue to work from home. If the job can be done well from home by people who are diligent about it, The company saves a lot on rent and utilities for example.  It isn't for everyone but it will be for a fair amount of people. I know my company has paid to have my home office upgraded with very nice chair, computer peripherals, and general office supplies.  

C) Curbside pickup will continue to exist and be used more. 

D) The RV industry is booming, I expect that many more people will find the love of the outdoors. Hopefully that will stick.  Yes RV'ing isn't the same as camping, but maybe there will be a carry over.

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