In April, CEO Rich Barton announced on Twitter that the company was enabling its roughly 5,400 employees to work from home through the end of 2020 to keep employees safe while ensuring they felt supported and remained productive.
“The past few months have proven we are a high-functioning, innovative organization — with or without offices,” Dan Spaulding, the chief people officer at Zillow said, in a statement.
The announcement marks what the company has called a “drastic shift” from where it began in 2020.
“We have historically discouraged employees from working from home, preferring face time and in-office collaboration versus virtual exchanges,” Spaulding said. “Our old preferences have been debunked during the pandemic.”
“These past few months have shed light on the resilience of Zillow employees; their unflagging drive and commitment to innovate and serve our customers and partners at the highest levels, regardless of changing work conditions,” Spaulding added. “It’s been incredibly gratifying to see our community’s rapid and widespread adaptation to this new work reality. We have all learned the true importance of home.”
Zillow will re-open its office when “conditions permit,” so employees can choose to work from the company offices, but it won’t be a requirement.
Tech companies backing the current remote work trend is having an impact on local housing markets, especially in technology hubs like San Francisco. Bay Area rents near some of the biggest tech offices are dropping significantly, according to a new study from realtor.com, while counties further from the dense urban core are seeing rents spike.
It’s not clear yet what impact Zillow’s work from home policy will have on its home market of Seattle. Zillow is the largest tech company to announce it will allow employees to work from home indefinitely.