Big Tech Makes a Big Bet: Offices Are Still the Future

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Big Tech Makes a Big Bet: Offices Are Still the Future

Smaller tech companies, given their financial constraints, may have to choose whether to invest in physical locations or adopt a more flexible strategy. Twitter continues to add offices in Silicon Valley, and video game developers such as Electronic Arts and Epic Games have expanded into locations such as Canada and North Carolina. But others have made the cut.

Zynga, a gaming company, last summer offered to sublease its 185,000-square-foot San Francisco headquarters after it decided that downsizing and moving its physical office would make life easier for employees, Zynga said. Ken Stuart, vice president of real estate in the U.S. said. Its new building in San Mateo, Calif., will be less than half the size.

“The reality is that people are frustrated with commutes and commuting into the city, and people also think they can do a better job by being a hybrid,” said Mr. Stuart.

In contrast, the biggest tech giants have “so much money that it doesn’t matter,” said Anne Helen Peterson, co-author of “Out of Office,” a recent book about the remote-work era. Because of their huge budgets, Ms Peterson suggested, such companies could continue to build offices without worrying about how much money they would lose if the buildings became obsolete.

“They are hedging their bets,” said Ms Peterson. “If the future is going to be fully delivered, ‘We’ll set up a tool for that.’ If the future rubber-bands going back to the office for everyone, the way it was in 2020, ‘we’ll go back to that.'”

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In Tempe, the two-story WeWork co-working space at Watermark, one of the prime office spaces, was buzzing with activity on a recent afternoon. Above Amazon has rented an entire floor.

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