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Is this a sign of post-pandemic pushback for remote work?




(Photo courtesy of Olly Curtis / Future via Getty Images)

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In the light of Omicron’s surge, numerous companies across all sectors have postponed plans to return to the office. After enduring a pandemic for almost two years, executives seem to give up telling people to return to the office.

Goldman Sachs, a leading investment bank and one of the biggest supporters of ordering high-paying white-collar professionals to return to work, has announced that it will postpone the plan again on February 1.

Google announced on Friday that it would buy an office building in London for $ 1 billion, against the trend of remote and hybrid workplaces. At first, it seems surprising to spend so much money when there is a real estate overhang, as companies are shrinking their holdings. A significant percentage of people want to work remotely and say they will quit if they are forced to quit their job at home. This is not a lazy threat, as about 4 million workers quit their jobs almost every month these days.

The purchase is estimated to have been spent by Google building an 11-story, one-million-square-foot building, plus an additional $ 1 billion, which looks like a horizontal skyscraper, with a roof garden and a running track. .. In September 2021, Forbes reported that the search giant had purchased the St. John’s Terminal Building in Hudson Square, Manhattan, for $ 2.1 billion.

In a blog post by Google’s company at the time, Ruth Porat, Alphabet, and Google CFO, Google fortunately called New York City home for over 20 years, during which time it grew to 12,000 employees. New York’s vitality, creativity, and world-class talent are rooting us here. That’s why we announced today that we’re deepening our commitment to New York and planning to buy Manhattan’s St. John’s Terminal for $ 2.1 billion. It acts as an anchor for the new Hudson Square campus.

Porat pointed out this purchase as an enhancement to a more flexible hybrid approach. This allows employees to come together and collaborate directly to build a community. Our decision to exercise the option to purchase the St. John’s Terminal is also based on our existing plans to invest more than $ 250 million this year in our New York campus presence. It is also an important part of meeting previously announced racial equity commitments, including continuing to expand the workforce in diverse communities such as New York.

Earlier, Alphabet proposed building a large company town project in Mountain View, California. The tech giant builds a 40-acre corporate campus with a combination of housing, retail stores, parks and recreation. Google’s vision, called the Middlefield Park Master Plan, is an updated version of the company town, offering approximately 1.33 million square feet of office space, including residential, outdoor recreational spaces, commercial buildings, and retail stores. Facility. The search engine company retains ownership of the campus.

Google isn’t the only one buying or building real estate, but others have relinquished ownership. Amazon has launched a $ 2.5 billion multipurpose office and retail complex in northern Virginia. The complex can accommodate approximately 25,000 employees. The second headquarters, following Seattle, includes three 22-story office and retail buildings. Outdoor themes include forests, amphitheaters, walkways, large bicycle parking lots, and dog runs.

To hedge that bet, Amazon expects some people to come to the office from time to time. We are designing to accommodate a space where workers can collaborate with each other. The office has greenery and amenities such as an artist-in-residence program.

In another move that challenged the current trend of companies accepting employees working from home, social media giant Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is beautifully new from outdoor lifestyle retailer Recreational Equipment Inc (REI). I bought an unused 400,000 square foot corporate campus headquarters. Near Seattle.

The magnificent complex is an office space that matches the outdoor lifestyle brand, offering environmental and natural design and functionality. There are outdoor stairs, bridges, courtyards and skylights, allowing workers to see the wide open sky. The REI campus was never occupied as the company shifted its focus to setting up remote work. The company planned to sell the entire building or secure some office space and rent the rest.

The tech giant obviously keeps all options open. That makes sense. If there is a backlash against remote work a few years later, tech companies will need to scramble to acquire the property. Perhaps Silicon Valley-based companies are getting a good deal on real estate as other organizations sell, cancel, sublease, or go entirely remote.




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