Coinbase Adopts A Remote-First Approach After Lockdown Lifts


Prominent cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has made a permanent move towards a remote work environment once lockdown lifts in the United States.

The US-based exchange’s CEO Brian Armstrong made the announcement, explaining that this shift comes as a result of a need to maintain social distancing efforts to ensure safety for both the company’s staff members and the country’s citizens. Armstrong noted that remote work makes sense on a medium-term practical level, owing to the problems that come with the requirements to have six-foot separations between staff members in the office.

The Strategic Shift Towards Remote-First

He stated, however, that the permanent shift to a remote-first workplace is also a strategic move. He offered two reasons:

  • “Part of the vision for Coinbase is to create a world with more economic freedom, and not being tied to one location is a key part of this. A mix of in-office and remote work allows us to “de-risk” centralizing too much in a single location.
  • After a period of [work from home] WFH, we think remote work (or part in-office and part remote) are options that many people, including the top talent we’re focused on hiring, will come to expect from employers. It also means we can capture top talent from all over the world.”

The Option Of Remote Work For Coinbase Employees

In the announcement, Armstrong stressed that the shift towards remote work has a focus on “optionality”, thus giving employees the choice to work from the Coinbase offices or from home. He offered:

Some people can’t or won’t want to work remotely, so we plan to continue having physical offices in major hub cities.”

He followed this, saying that the prediction is that between 20% and 60% of the company will opt to work remotely. If this is a success, the team will expand on a remote-first basis.

Leading The “New Normal” Way Of Work

While companies working remotely is not by any means a new concept, most companies did not offer work from home as an option (pre-pandemic). Armstrong is hoping that Coinbase’s move towards a remote-first workspace will traject more companies across the industry to adopt the shift, saying:

I believe that the work we do through this process will essentially generate a playbook for other companies in their transition to become remote-first, and that what we do in this moment could influence many companies’ paths forward.”

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