REI announced that it has both identified the first of its future satellite offices in Issaquah, WA, and will test a model that allows employees to work up to five days a week from home. The move follows REI’s sale last September of its newly completed corporate campus in Bellevue, WA, 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 around the Puget Sound area. The office is surrounded by a trail network situated between Lake Sammamish Park and Cougar Mountain Wildland Park, with access to I-90 and public transportation.

The Co-Op will use its first satellite location to test technology and prototype digital and physical spaces for employee collaboration spread across various locations. While some essential on-site roles will require physical office space, most employees will have flexibility in where and how they log in for work. Instead of dedicated workspaces, each employee can choose combinations of locations that suit their position, work and team on a given day, including satellite offices, coffee shops, home offices, or 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 home, improvising or REI office,” said Putur. “We see incredible possibility in this future, and we’re giving ourselves space to go explore it.”

The East Side satellite office is located at 2005 NW Poplar Way, Issaquah, WA, and offers 68,876 square feet and can accommodate 400 people post-pandemic. REI has 168 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia.

Photo courtesy REI