By Mike Murphy
In another sign of the changing times, TaskRabbit on Monday announced it was closing its offices, including its San Francisco headquarters, and switching to a “remote-first” work policy.
“For us, remote-first is the concept of putting virtual work and remote participation as priority and the primary way our employees work, with all other means of showing up to work as secondary,” the company said in a statement. “Most importantly, remote-first refers to how we work rather than where we work.”
TaskRabbit, the online worker-for-hire company, had more than 250 employees as of 2021, with office hubs in San Francisco; Austin, Texas; and London.
The company said it has surveyed employees a few times a year during the pandemic about the importance of flexibility and maintaining a work/life balance. Rather than coming into the office regularly, TaskRabbit said it will encourage “team weeks” in cities with high numbers of employees, where they can come together and bond. “We focus on results over attendance,” the company said.
The San Francisco Chronicle first reported the shuttering, and TaskRabbit Chief Executive Ania Smith told the newspaper: “I think the office, the way it has existed pre-pandemic, that kind of construct of an office is no longer here.”
TaskRabbit is just the latest company to move away from the traditional office amid the work-from-home revolution spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This shift from the traditional 9-to-5, office-based model cannot be undone,” a recent ADP report said, adding that a survey it conducted found 64% of employees said they would look for a new job if their employer made them return to the office full time. In that same survey , over 50% said they would rather take a pay cut than go back to the office.
While many companies are now asking employees to come into the office at least a few days a week, others, like Twitter Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203180645/composite TWTR +0.39% and Airbnb Inc . /zigman2/quotes/222990650/composite ABNB +4.96% , have said employees can work from virtually anywhere.
San Francisco has especially been hit hard by permanent office closures of late: So far this year, San Jose, Calif.-based PayPal Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208054269/composite PYPL +4.20% plans to shut its San Francisco office , as will crypto exchange Kraken and software company Autodesk Inc . /zigman2/quotes/209828392/composite ADSK +1.75% .