Yelp is closing three of its U.S. offices after finding most of its employees prefer to work remotely.
In a blog post Thursday, Yelp Cofounder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said the company will close its offices in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C., on July 29. The online review and reservation company also plans to downsize its office in Phoenix.
“Combined, the three offices we’re closing saw a weekly average utilization of less than 2% of the available workspaces,” Stoppelman wrote.
San Francisco-based Yelp announced a remote-first work model in February 2021. Stoppelman said Yelp has proven it can be successful with a remote workforce, noting that the company achieved record revenue of just over $1 billion in 2021.
“Yelp continues to experience the benefits of a remote workplace and it’s the clear path forward for us,” Stoppelman said.
Yelp is the latest in a wave of companies embracing remote work following the pandemic. Dropbox in March joined a growing number of tech firms to declare themselves “virtual first” employers, for the first time in corporate history.
Musk draws a line
Not all technology companies embrace remote work. Tesla CEO Elon Musk was pressed for his opinion on the matter in June after a leaked company memo entitled “Remote work is no longer acceptable” was circulated on social media. Asked by one Twitter how he would respond to those who believe working in an office to be antiquated, Musk replied, “They should pretend to work somewhere else.”
Internal surveys show 86% of Yelp workers prefer to work remotely all or most of the time, while 87% said that working remotely makes them more effective, the CEO wrote. Since the company began reopening its offices about nine months ago, only 1% of the company’s global workforce is coming into an office every day.
Stoppelman said the remote-first policy has also helped with recruiting.
“Our workforce was previously concentrated in the areas where we have offices, and now we have employees spread across every state in the U.S. and four countries,” he said.
Yelp, which has 4,400 employees, said offices in San Francisco, London, Toronto and other locations will remain open for now.
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