Since Reddit announced its $50 million fundraising round earlier this week, details of new changes have slowly surfaced. For instance, as part of the round, the online forum said it would give some company stock to community members–possibly through the creation of a cryptocurrency.
Now, Reddit is facing backlash over the dismantling of its remote-work policy. CEO Yishan Wong said the startup will be closing down its Salt Lake City and New York City offices and asked all workers to relocate to San Francisco.
Employees have until the end of the year to move to the Bay Area, with Reddit providing relocation packages or three months severance for those staying behind. (Previous reports said employees had only a week to decide if they would relocate.) He said the decision was “independent of fundraising.”
“What we’ve found is that remote work and multiple offices work for some people at some companies, some of the time,” Wong wrote in a Quora post.
As it turns out, our teams (within each office) and remote workers did good work, but the separation has kept us from effectively being able to coordinate as well as we needed to on a full-company level. Big efforts that require quick action, deep understanding, and efficient coordination between people at multiple offices just don’t go as well as we (and our users) needed.
The move is a blow to working parents, who, if they decide to move, will have to pull their children out of their schools and find a new home in notoriously expensive San Francisco.
When Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer eliminated the company’s work-from-home policy last year, people were quick to point out how the change was unfair for working parents, especially since they, unlike Mayer, couldn’t build a nursery next to their cubicles.
But Mayer–a former exec at Google, which is well known for its anti-work-from-home culture–argued the move was necessary to turn around the fledgling search giant. “We need to be one Yahoo and that starts with physically being together,” she said then.