Smaller tech companies, given their financial constraints, may have to choose whether to invest in physical spaces or embrace a more flexible strategy. Twitter has continued to add offices in Silicon Valley, and video game developers such as Electronic Arts and Epic Games have expanded in places like Canada and North Carolina. But others have cut back.
Zynga, a gaming company, offered its 185,000-square-foot San Francisco headquarters for sublet last summer because it decided that downsizing its physical office and relocating would make employees’ lives easier, said Ken Stuart, vice president of real estate at zynga. The new building in San Mateo, California, will be less than half the size.
“The reality is people are frustrated with the commute and city travel, and people also feel they can do a better job being hybrid,” said Mr Stuart.
By contrast, the biggest tech giants have “so much money it doesn’t matter,” said Anne Helen Petersen, co-author of “Out of Office,” a recent book on the era of remote working. Because of their huge budgets, Ms. Petersen suggested, such companies can continue building offices without worrying about how much money they could lose if the buildings become obsolete.
“They hedge their bets,” Mrs. Petersen said. “If the future is fully divided, “we’ll set up a device for that.” If the future goes back to everyone back to the office, like it was in 2020, ‘then we’re going back to that.’”
In Tempe, the two-story WeWork co-working space in the Watermark, one of the main office spaces, was buzzing with activity one recent afternoon. Upstairs, Amazon has rented an entire floor.