Stripe founder on WFH: Pandemic "remote tourists" less welcome now
Fintech can be one of the most lucrative places to find remote work, but startups are becoming more discerning about the remote workers they pick. One such company is payments giant Stripe, as articulated by co-founder John Collison at the 2023 Sifted Summit.
“Prior to covid, we were more pro-remote than the consensus,” said Collison. “Post-covid, we’re more pro office.” He said this was a societal thing rather than a shift in Stripe’s own ideology. Stripe's views “haven't changed that much, the consensus has just bounced around.”
Despite the bouncing consensus, the proportion of remote workers in Stripe's core headcount has doubled. Collison estimated that remote workers made up 20% of Stripe before the pandemic, but now they make up to closer to 30% or 40%. He still maintains that “the majority of people at Stripe work in the office.”
The implication is that Stripe has hired remote workers even as others leave. Collison said “lots of remote tourists washed in during covid,” who were working at distant offices, but that they've since flushed out again.
Some of this also comes down to the way their teams are organized; at Stripe it’s a matter of all-in (the office) or all-out. If teams contain a remote worker, they’re by-and-large part of an entirely remote team, with the inverse also true. Collison, who's spoken of his love for internal meetings before, says this is to ensure “there’s not office contacts they’re missing.”
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