Robinhood announced Wednesday that most of its 3,400-person workforce will continue to work remotely going forward. Employees of the investing app have been largely remote since the beginning of the pandemic, though the company has continued to expand its workforce and office real estate, especially in New York and Seattle. The company said employees were briefed on the changes in December.
“In the last two years, we’ve seen how flexibility and trust allows teams to do their best work, attract top talent, and create a workplace that’s more inclusive and equitable. Our teams have done amazing work and built a strong workplace community during these uncertain and challenging times, and we’re excited to continue to offer them the flexibility they’ve asked for by staying primarily remote,” Robinhood said in a statement.
It’s become routine for tech companies to delay reopening dates and adjust their definitions of “hybrid” or “remote,” but Robinhood appears to be making a decision for the longer term. Though some employees will need to stay commuting distance from a regional office for regulatory reasons and a small portion of employees will still need to go work in person, Robinhood is characterizing its new philosophy as a “primarily remote approach.” Most employees will have no location or in-office requirement. The company has not publicly released any detailed information as to how remote work may impact pay.
In shifting its return-to-the-office plans, Robinhood has some good company. Omicron already spooked Google out of its January return to the office date. Meta and Lyft both have offices open again, but suspended in-person work requirements last month. And not only has Apple indefinitely delayed its return to the office, it has also started giving out $1,000 stipends to employees to improve their work-from-home setups.
Trying to get ahead of any backlash, Robinhood’s statement also directly acknowledged the disproportionate impact of remote work policies on women and people of color. The company said it plans to address these disparities by empowering employee-led resource groups organized by identity and experience, using technology that helps foster more participatory remote conversations and a soon-to-be-rolled-out inclusive mentorship program.