The future of Silicon Valley headquarters
What will happen to technology companies’ pricey digs?
“This is one of the healthiest buildings in San Francisco.” Giving a tour of the new headquarters of Uber on a recent afternoon, Michael Huaco, the ride-hailing giant’s head of “workplace and real estate”, does not hide his pride. And he has plenty to be proud of. Employees make their way to work stations up a wood-panelled staircase, then through a sun-soaked atrium which doubles as the conduit for the building’s natural ventilation. Meeting rooms and nooks with couches abound; desks are scarce. This being tech central, there is, naturally, a juice bar and a yoga studio.
There is only one niggle. Many Uber employees may prefer to keep working from home and come in only a couple of days a week, if at all. “No one really knows,” concedes Mr Huaco. His firm is not alone. Up and down Silicon Valley technology companies are wondering what will happen when they fully reopen after the summer break. Where they go, others often follow. How tech solves its hq conundrum may therefore once again blaze the trail for new work spaces and practices in other industries, says Charlton Hutton of M Moser Associates, a design agency...