Big tech bet big: Offices are still the future

Smaller tech companies, due to financial constraints, may have to choose between investing in the physical space or adopting a more flexible strategy. Twitter has continued to add offices in Silicon Valley, and video game developers like Electronic Arts and Epic Games have expanded in places like Canada and North Carolina. But others have cuts.

Ken Stuart, Zynga’s vice president of real estate, said Zynga, a gaming company, offered to sublease its 185,000-square-foot San Francisco headquarters last summer because of its decision to downsize its office. Real and moving rooms will make employees’ lives easier. Its new building in San Mateo, California, will be less than half the size.

“The reality is that people get frustrated with commuting and getting into the city, and people also feel like they can do a better job,” said Mr. Stuart.

In contrast, the biggest tech giants “have so much money that it doesn’t matter,” says Anne Helen Petersen, co-author of “Away,” a recent book on the remote working era. Ms. Petersen suggests that because of their huge budgets, such companies can continue to build offices without worrying about how much money they might lose if the buildings become obsolete.

“They are hedging their bets,” Ms. Petersen said. “If the future is going to be fully distributed, ‘we’ll set up an apparatus for that.’ If the future goes back to rubber bands to get people back into the office like it was in 2020, ‘we’ll go back to that.’

In Tempe, the two-story WeWork co-working space at Watermark, one of the premier office spaces, was bustling with activity on a recent afternoon. Upstairs, Amazon rented an entire floor. Big tech bet big: Offices are still the future

Fry Electronics Team

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