Over the last 6 months every social media platform and news feed has been packed with predictions and opinion pieces about the working from home revolution or as it’s now well known, WFH. Several large, influential companies including Twitter have announced that they will allow staff to continue working from home, permanently if they wish
However, an increasing number of employers and employees are coming round to the idea that WFH isn’t the answer. Not completely anyway.
Uncomfortable and unsuitable working conditions, distracting pets and young children are just a few of the things that are making WFH an unlikely future for many people. Many employers that rely on collaboration and creativity are also of the opinion that WFH is unsustainable.
Here are five tech giants that still see the value in physical office space and have been publicly vocal about how they look to embrace a mixture of flexible and physical workspace in 2021 and beyond.
Among the companies recently to announce and increase in physical workspace is Netflix. According to a recent Bloomberg report the TV streaming and entertainment company is looking to triple the size of it’s London office space as they move into a new London HQ.
The California streaming giant is reportedly planning to move to a new 87,000-square-foot building in London’s West End. The property, situated on Berners Street, was occupied by outsourcing firm Capita until recently, but Netflix is said to be taking over the lease.
“As part of our ongoing commitment to the U.K., we are excited to expand our operations in London,” a Netflix spokesperson told Bloomberg.
While some companies have embraced remote working, Netflix Co-Chief Executive Reed Hastings has spoken publicly against it. Last month he told The Wall Street Journal that not being able to meet people face-to-face is a “pure negative.” At the time, he said lots of companies will have staff working four days in the office and one at home.
it has also been reported that they will also be extending the lease on its 160,000 ft² office space in the Central Saint Giles building located near Tottenham Court Road for a further ten years. The lease was due to expire in 2021.
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said in an interview at the TIME100 Honorees Visions for the Future event: “We firmly believe that in-person, being together, having a sense of community is super important when you have to solve hard problems and create something new so we don’t see that changing. But we do think we need to create more flexibility and more hybrid models.”
Amazon recently announced it had purchased the former Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue department store building in Midtown Manhattan from WeWork, where it will open a 630,000-square-foot office. The acquisition comes as the e-commerce giant moves to expand its tech hubs in Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Phoenix, San Diego and New York.
This brings the number of Amazon offices in New York City to eight. Most are located in Midtown Manhattan, however the business recently started leasing workspace on the Brooklyn waterfront to house its Amazon Music team.
Apple established its inaugural office space in New York City ten years ago, and after leasing 220,000 ft² in the 11 Penn Plaza building, it’s set to expand. According to a recent Business Insider report, the company is currently negotiating terms to take another 60,000 ft². There are also other options within the building to take more space if required.
Whilst the negotiations are ongoing and someone close to the discussions has said that there ‘is nothing concrete yet’, this does show that Apple are confident in the requirement for physical office space.
Facebook is tripling its local workforce in New York and despite the Coronavirus pandemic, the social media giant has taken a lease on all of the available space in the former main post office at Penn Station in Midtown to accommodate its growth.
This year, Facebook, Amazon and Google, have increased their teams by over 2,600 employees, together acquiring over 1.6 million ft² of office space since the start of 2020.