Coinbase has announced that it will close its San Francisco headquarters in 2022.
Coinbase is committed to being remote first. We announced we no longer have an HQ and as a next step, we’re closing our SF office (our former HQ) in 2022.
— Coinbase News (@CoinbaseNews) May 5, 2021
In fact, the company had previously announced that it would no longer have a real “headquarters”, because it had now committed to being a “remote first” company, i.e. based primarily on smart working.
However, the San Francisco office, where the company was actually born in 2012, is still active and will be decommissioned next year.
In this way, they want to demonstrate to their “decentralized workforce ” that no location is more important than the others, and the closure of the San Francisco office is seen as an important step to ensure that no office can become an unofficial headquarters in the absence of an official one.
So instead of a few locations spread across a limited number of cities, they will offer a network of smaller offices where employees can travel to work if they wish.
Coinbase without headquarters: how Covid-19 changed the world of work
During the lockdown resulting from the Covid19 pandemic, many companies moved to remote working through smart working, and among them are several, such as Coinbase, who apparently do not intend to go back.
In other words, having set up the infrastructure, procedures, and organization to work remotely, this new way of working is proving to be better than the traditional office presence, so those companies that can afford to work mainly remotely are unlikely to return to in-person working.
Coinbase is not the only crypto exchange that works remotely. In fact, some crypto exchanges were already doing this before the lockdown, so Coinbase’s initiative just follows that of some real pioneers in this field.
However, Coinbase is the first crypto exchange ever to be listed on the Nasdaq, so it is now a real reference point, especially for the US market.
With 1,200 employees it is certainly not one of the largest companies in the world, but coordinating more than a thousand people working mainly from home in an efficient and productive manner is not easy. Certainly, the type of work done is very conducive to this new form of remote working, and in the crypto sector, there were already several examples of efficient and productive organizations based primarily on smart working. However, going from a traditional company based on face-to-face work to a “remote first” company cannot have been a walk in the park.