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Lyft Puts Office Footprint In Reverse, Plans To Sublease Nearly Half Its Space

Lyft car in Los Angeles

Ride-sharing company Lyft is pulling back its office footprint, the latest tech company to do so amid cost-cutting pressures and the rise of remote work.

Lyft plans to sublease 45% of the 615K SF of office space it leases across San Francisco, New York City, Nashville and Seattle, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The moves comes after Lyft in March announced its "Fully Flexible" work plan, allowing corporate employees to work in-office, remote or a hybrid if they chose. The strategy allowed managers to set norms and expectations for team members, but allowed employees to choose to go fully remote without approval.

In a blog post, the company said it wanted to avoid being "arbitrary and overly prescriptive" by choosing designated in-office days for its employees. Lyft also said it would pay for travel for in-person meetings roughly once a quarter.

"We’ve been flexible and successful for two years, working efficiently out of basements, bedrooms, and Lyft offices," the blog post read. "Our team values this flexibility and top talent expects it. A flexible workplace strikes the right balance between trust and choice — helping us do our best work while attracting and retaining top talent."

Lyft employs about 4,000 people. In July it announced it would lay off about 60 people as it folded its car-rental business.

While the flexible work plan was pitched as a talent recruitment strategy, it will likely save Lyft some cash by reducing its office footprint.

The ride-hailing firm lost $377M in the second quarter of this year, which was higher than both the previous quarter and the second quarter of the previous year, TechCrunch reported. The firm beat Wall Street's expectations this summer, but it did so by embarking on cost-cutting measures and riding a wave of pent-up demand for travel.

Lyft is the latest in a string of tech firms to roll back their office footprints in recent months. In July, Twitter announced it would vacate a San Francisco office building and canceled plans for a 66K SF office in Oakland, while also hinting at additional rollbacks. In June, Yelp said it was closing offices in New York, Chicago and D.C. and shifting to a fully remote workforce. In May, TaskRabbit said it was going fully remote and closing multiple offices including its San Francisco headquarters.

Related Topics: Lyft, ridesharing, remote working