As tech workers go remote, Facebook leases huge NYC offices
People throughout the U.S. are still working from home to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. While many speculate that in the post-pandemic world far fewer workers will be commuting to traditional offices, Facebook is one tech company that is still committing to massive physical offices. The social media giant has signed a lease on a new, huge office space in Midtown Manhattan.
The 730,000 square foot office space constitutes the main office lease on the James A. Farley building, currently the hub of the U.S. Postal Service in New York, according to TechCrunch. Facebook’s presence there would make it a NYC neighbor of some of the other biggest global tech giants. Google and Amazon already have large office spaces located in roughly the same area of Manhattan.
Facebook’s goal does not appear to be to pack all of its NYC staff back into the office, however, when the U.S. finally moves past the pandemic. Management has stated that half the company could be working remotely this decade. In fact, such a large office environment could facilitate allowing workers who do work in the office to have more individual space.
Despite Facebook’s insistence that it sees working from home as a big part of the future, not every recent statement from the company indicates a rosy view of the model. In May, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg suggested that those working for Facebook remotely who move to areas with lower rents than Silicon Valley could expect a lower wage.
Remote working is one of the many business trends that the novel coronavirus pandemic has accelerated. While the model was gaining acceptance in the lead-up to March, 2020, by the end of that a month a Gartner survey of 317 CFOs found that 74 percent intended to move at least 5 percent of formerly on-site workers to full-time remote, and nearly a quarter planned to transition 20 percent of workers to full-time remote.
In May, Twitter and Square both announced that they would allow employees to work from home indefinitely after the end of the pandemic.
- Facebook doubles down on work-from-office with massive NYC lease near Penn Station – TechCrunch
- Facebook employees may face pay cut if they move to cheaper areas to work from home – Marketwatch
- Is remote working here for good? – RetailWire
- Square to allow employees to work from home permanently, following Twitter’s lead – CNBC
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How should big companies rethink using their office space in a post-pandemic world? What sort of steps can companies take to redesign their offices to facilitate resident workers as well as interaction with remote workers?