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REI details first satellite campus, remote work options

Published February 25, 2021

SEATTLE (BRAIN) — REI Co-op announced the location of its first corporate satellite office, five months after selling its newly constructed corporate campus and revealing plans to move to a modified remote work environment.

The first satellite office will be in Issaquah, Washington, and will test a plan to allow employees to work up to five days a week from home. It will be 68,876 square feet and have a 400-employee capacity post-pandemic.

REI announced in September the sale of its newly completed corporate campus in Bellevue with plans to shift to a more distributed work model.

"We believe the future of work is much more fluid," said 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 in the Puget Sound area. The office is surrounded by trail networks and sandwiched between Lake Sammamish Park and Cougar Mountain Wildland Park, with access to I-90 and public transit.

The co-op will use this satellite location to test technology and prototype digital and physical spaces that allow easier collaboration for employees across a variety of locations.

While some on-site jobs require physical office space, most employees will have more flexibility. 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," Putur said. "We see incredible possibilities in this future, and we're giving ourselves space to go explore it."

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