Big Tech is betting that offices are still the future.
Big tech companies like Meta and Google were among the first to announce during the pandemic that they would allow some employees to work from home permanently, but they’re spending billions of dollars expanding their office space .
Doubling down on offices can seem counterintuitive to many tech workers who continue to work remotely. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in January, 48 percent of people in computer and math fields and 35 percent in architecture or engineering said they had worked from home at some point because of the pandemic.
But companies, real-estate analysts and workplace experts said several factors were driving the trend, including the hiring boom, the race to attract and retain top talent, and a sense that the office will play a key role in the future of work. Will fulfill
The debate over whether workers need to return to the office can be thorny as some employees say they have been happier and more productive at home. One way companies are trying to lure them back is to splurge on prime office space with great features.
Big Tech executives say office expansion is expected and modern buildings will probably be places for people to collaborate rather than stare at screens. Facebook parent company Meta leased 730,000 square feet in midtown Manhattan in August 2020 and added space in Silicon Valley as well as Austin, Texas; Boston; Chicago; and Bellevue, Wash.
Google said early last year that it would spend $7 billion in 2021 on new and expanded offices and data centers across the country, including $2.1 billion to buy a Manhattan office building by the Hudson River and development in Atlanta; silicon Valley; Boulder, Colo.; Durham, NC; and Pittsburgh. Google also said in January that it would spend $1 billion on a London office building.
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