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Google doubles down on office space despite the rise in remote work

On Thursday, Google (GOOG) said it plans to invest more than $7 billion in offices and data centers in the United States and create at least 10,000 additional full-time jobs this year.
“Coming together in person to collaborate and build community is core to Google’s culture, and it will be an important part of our future,” CEO Sundar Pichai said in a blog post. “So we continue to make significant investments in our offices around the country.”

Google said it will invest more than $1 billion this year in its home state of California. The company also plans to expand its other offices, including adding thousands of roles in Atlanta, Washington, DC, Chicago and New York.

Google plans to invest $250 million in New York City this year and will grow its headcount in the city to 14,000 over the next few years, up from 11,000 currently, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday.
Silicon Valley’s biggest companies were among the first businesses to tell their employees to work remotely as the coronavirus began spreading in the United States. Now, some of these companies are among the most aggressive in expanding their office footprint.
Last year, Facebook said it would buy a previously unused corporate headquarters from outdoor retailer REI, even though it plans to shift more of its employees to working from home in the coming years. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that he could see half of Facebook’s employees permanently working remotely within the next five to 10 years.
Amazon announced plans to hire 3,500 more workers in various US cities last fall. It said it will expand offices in New York, Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Phoenix and San Diego, resulting in more than 905,000 square feet of additional office space.

Many tech companies have thrived during the pandemic and are adding thousands of workers at a time when other companies are undergoing layoffs or even shutting down. These tech giants can also afford to be more opportunistic in picking up commercial real estate regardless of whether they have longer-term plans for transitioning to more remote work in the future.

Unlike some startups and smaller tech firms that have promised permanent remote work options, Big Tech has spent billions on elaborate offices over the years and may be more reluctant to abandon in-person work after the pandemic ends.

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