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If Work Is Going Remote, Why Is Big Tech Still Building?

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If Work Is Going Remote, Why Is Big Tech Still Building?

Photo caption: A Google building under construction. The company plans to build a new campus in downtown San Jose. Photograph: David Paul Morris / Bloomberg / Getty Images. Article by Gregory Barber. Wired – February 16, 2021.

Google, Facebook, and others promise more flexibility to work from home. But they’re charging ahead with plans for more offices.

Kim Walesh has lived steps from downtown San Jose for two decades, and she readily admits that her neighborhood is not what you’d expect for the so-called “capital” of Silicon Valley—“small” and “undeveloped” are her first words to describe it. But Walesh, who directs economic development for the city, has long worked to enliven it, and four years ago she helped secure a crown jewel: a new Google campus on the west side of downtown. Unlike the region’s infamously cloistered office parks, Google’s plan embraced a newer model integrating tech offices with housing, transit, and public spaces. These brought with them concerns about gentrification and crowding, but after years of difficult negotiations with the developers and community groups, the city was nearing an agreement. “There was this sense of, ‘Oh my gosh, this is actually going to happen,’” Walesh says. […]

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