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Yelp Closing Offices in Major Cities in Move to Remote Work

Business directory and reviews app Yelp announced this week it will close offices in major markets across the U.S. in a shift to remote work. The San Francisco-based company said the move was spurred by lackluster back-to-office attendance. Yelp will shutter its offices in New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and reduce its square footage in Phoenix starting July 29, the company’s co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said in a blog post. Less than 2 percent of the office space in the three offices Yelp is closing entirely were being utilized on a weekly basis, according to the company.

“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 wrote in the post, titled “The future of work is remote.” The company, which reported record revenue in 2021, began reopening its offices nine months ago, but instead of setting in stone a return date, they gave employees the choice to remain working remotely or come into the office. Among its six U.S. offices and four international offices, just 1 percent of employees came into the office everyday to work.

Stoppelman said after closing the offices the company plans to “re-allocate resources towards our employee experience, new talent, and the growth of our business.” Yelp’s announcement comes months after major Silicon Valley tech firms announced their back-to-office plans. Google announced in March it would be calling staffers back to the office for at least a few days a week, while many employees of Facebook parent company Meta were scheduled to go back to the office in late March. 

More than two years after the onset of the pandemic, uncertainty over when workers will return to the office and whether companies will reduce their office footprints still abound. According to a recent CBRE report, a little more than half of companies surveyed said they intended to reduce their footprint. However, that number was a significant drop from earlier in the pandemic, when 84 percent of occupiers said they would cut down their space.

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