- Yelp’s CEO said the company is going fully remote, and that it’s best for employees and the business.
- He said Yelp learned its employees could be just as, if not more, productive while working remotely.
- The company referenced “consistently underutilized offices” in New York, Chicago, and DC.
Yelp’s CEO and cofounder, Jeremy Stoppelman, wrote in a Yelp blog post that the company is going fully remote.
“Over time we came to realize that the future of work at Yelp is remote,” Stoppelman said. “It’s best for our employees, and for our business.”
Stoppelman said the pandemic showed the company that it could “effectively operate” remotely, and that its employees “could thrive and be just as, if not more, productive while remote.”
“Employees are more satisfied working remotely as they can spend precious time they would have otherwise spent commuting doing the things they love with the people who mean the most to them,” Stoppelman said.
In a survey of its employees, Yelp found that 86% of respondents preferred to work remotely most or all of the time. The survey also found that 87% of respondents said remote work made them more effective at work, and 93% of employees and managers said they could meet their goals with remote work.
Stoppelman said the company’s “record revenue” for 2021 showed that the company could be productive working remotely.
The underutilization of Yelp’s offices was a sign, Stoppelman said, that employees preferred remote work to in-person work. As Yelp reopened offices in the past nine months, Stoppelman said the company didn’t set a date for “return to work,” and wanted to give employees the option to come into the office if they wanted to.
In Yelp offices around the US and other parts of the world, Stoppelman said about 1% of employees chose to come into the office everyday.
“After observing how employees have been using our offices, we’ve decided to close our most consistently underutilized offices on July 29, in New York, Chicago and Washington DC, as well as reduce our footprint in Phoenix,” Stoppelman said.
The company plans to reallocate resources to employee experience, new talent, and the business’s growth, Stoppelman said.
Stoppelman has been vocal of his support for remote work. In a Twitter threadStoppelman wrote that his advice for business leaders trying to decide on a mode of work is, “burn the boats and go remote.”
In and Twitter reply to Founders Fund partner Keith Rabois, who tweeted that he only wanted to fund IRL startups, Stoppelman said it was, “Equivalent to ‘Looking to fund startups running Windows95.'”
In the Yelp blog post, Stoppelman said in-person and even hybrid work requires people to live near their office, “potentially driving up their housing costs, and to endure unpaid time spent commuting.”
“It also means hiring is artificially constrained by geography, translating to a smaller and less diverse pool of talent,” Stoppelman said.
Since going remote-first, the company has hired two remote C-level executives in places where there was no office, and Yelp is getting more job applicants.
“When you’re a company founded on the idea of connecting people with great local businesses, having employees in communities all over the world ties directly to our mission,” Stoppelman said.