REI Expands Mobile Work Practices
As companies around the world rethink the future of physical office space, REI Co-op is moving forward with its plan to reimagine the future of work at the co-op.
REI announced last September that it had sold its newly completed corporate campus in Bellevue, Washington, with plans to shift to a more distributed work model. Today, the co-op announced that it has both identified the first of its future satellite offices in Issaquah, Washington, and will test a model that allows employees to work up to five days a week from home.
“We believe the future of work is much more fluid,” says Chris Putur, REI’s executive vice president of technology and operations. “We’re building the future around the work that needs to get done, and creating flexible, agile and inclusive ways to deliver innovation for our customers – and we no longer believe we need a traditional office model to do so.”
This new office space is the first of several planned satellites around the Puget Sound area. The office is surrounded by trail networks and sandwiched between Lake Sammamish Park and Cougar Mountain Wildland Park, with easy access to I-90 and public transit. The co-op will use this first satellite location to test technology and prototype digital and physical spaces that unlock collaboration for people spread across a variety of locations.
While some essential on-site roles will require physical office space, most employees will have much more flexibility in where and how they log in for work. Instead of dedicated workspaces, each employee can choose the combination of locations that best suit their role, work and team on a given day—including satellite offices, coffee shops, home offices or even local parks.
“This will require us to adopt a completely different way of thinking, as we design a model that ensures every employee is just as engaged, connected and productive, whether they’re working from a home, improvised or REI office,” says Putur. “We see incredible possibility in this future – and we’re giving ourselves space to go explore it.”
East Side Satellite details:
- Developer: Rowley Properties
- Address: 2005 NW Poplar Way, Issaquah, WA
- Square footage: 68,876
- Capacity: up to 400 people at a time, post-pandemic
About the REI Co-op
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 19 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 168 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company, a global leader that runs more than 200 itineraries across all continents. In every community where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.