Shopify's new 'digital' model could provide smaller companies with cool digs

Shopify's new 'digital' model could provide smaller companies with cool digs

Shopify's decision to move to a work-from-home model could give smaller tech companies the opportunity to land some of Ottawa's best real estate at a discount, according to one local real estate expert. The Ottawa-based e-commerce company, which employs more than 5,000 people, occupies half the floors in the Elgin Street building where it's headquartered downtown and several floors at another office tower nearby. Darren Fleming, CEO of real estate firm Real Strategy, said Shopify's shift to remote working could give local tech companies and entrepreneurs the chance to rent innovative office spaces that don't exist anywhere else in the city. • Will COVID-19 lead to an exodus from crowded offices in downtown towers? Don't count on it, experts say "Young people have been moving to the core like never before in the last couple of years, but we never had this cool funky industrial zone like ... in Toronto or Montreal or Vancouver where the cool people hang out," he said. "There's this opportunity to create these tech hubs and give them a much better space." Shopify hasn't said exactly what it will do with its offices, however. Chief talent officer Brittany Forsyth told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning the company will continue to have offices, but will be reimagining those workspaces. "There's a sense of loss but also optimism towards the future and knowing that we have the ability to thrive on change," Forsyth said. Fleming said some companies are using the COVID-19 pandemic as ...
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