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I'm the founder of FutureWork IQ where I spend my time assisting businesses to design digital workplaces or “offices in the cloud.” These environments enable companies to allow flexible and remote working for their teams. I also teach the digital literacy, fluency, communication and collaboration skills needed to work in these modern technology-rich workplaces.

Automattic Team Distribution

What you are looking at here is a picture depicting, on a map, where Automattic’s team members are situated. That would be 611 people, in 58 countries, speaking 80 languages.

Here is the interesting thing about this team, the overwhelming majority don’t work from an office. Most work remotely. Recently they made some headlines when they decided to close down their 1,400 sqm office in San Francisco. As CEO Matt Mullenweg explains:

“We got an office there about six or seven years ago, pretty good lease, but nobody goes in it. Five people go in it and it’s 15,000 square feet. They get like 3,000 square feet each. … There are as many gaming tables as there are people.”

The company has similar offices in Cape Town and Portland. They give employees a R3,000/month allowance if they want to use commercial co-working offices elsewhere. And if they’d rather work at Starbucks, the company will pay for their coffee.

This is an example of what the smart companies of the future will look like.

Why do I call these companies “smart?” Because they:

  1. Have agile workforces
  2. They have diverse teams
  3. Their people are highly productive and engaged
  4. They have a very small carbon footprint compared to their peers
  5. They don’t have unnecessary office space overheads

Automattic’s last valuation (2014) was US$1.16 billion.