There has never been a more interesting time to start or grow a company. With all of the uncertainty and change that the last year brought, many companies had the opportunity to think strategically about their future. Entrepreneurs and founders often consider: How will growth affect company culture? Where are opportunities for increasing market share? What are the goals for short- and long-term success? And it turns out, they are looking beyond the Valley for their growth.
At One America Works, our mission revolves around connecting fast-growing companies with future-focused cities to help create new economic opportunities. Our considerations for startups and growth companies are: Where can you find the talent you need? What quality of life factors are important? Can you access capital to grow?
While some companies are mapping out their growth playbook in cities across America, others are simultaneously considering what re-opening offices looks like in the post-COVID era. New sanitation protocols and flexible scheduling are among the strategies playing out at large tech companies. Find out more in our issue below about starting, growing, and re-opening offices around the country.
Inside this issue
- Companies Face Conflicts Making Remote Work Permanent
- The Office as We Know It Is Over—And That’s a Good Thing
- Opening a Second Location? Here’s What You Should Know.
- Bringing People Back to the Office: Here’s What It Will Take
- Starting, Growing, and Re-Opening Offices Around the Country\
Not everyone is happy about the work-culture shift, and Netflix cofounder and co-CEO Reed Hastings has emerged as one of the most vocal opponents. “I don’t see any positives,” he said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “Not being able to get together in person, particularly internationally, is a pure negative.”
But a remote workforce offers too many benefits for most companies to ignore completely, chief among them a vastly widened talent base. Fintech giant Stripe launched what it called a “remote engineering hub” to complement its existing fixed-location offices. The remote engineering hub worked toward helping the company “tap the 99.74% of talented engineers living outside the metro areas of our first four hubs,” Stripe CTO David Singleton said.
For decades we’ve had the tools, case studies, and best practices to evolve beyond an outdated cubicle culture. What we lacked was the willpower to leave the office behind. As lockdowns went into effect, the proportion of remote workers skyrocketed from 3.4% last February to about 42% in April. According to a recent study by FlexJobs, 65% of newly remote workers don’t want to go back to the office.
To understand the potential of remote work, look no further than GitLab, the open-source software developer that has operated on a fully remote basis for years, and currently employs more than 1,200 people in 65 countries. The company has been helping spread the gospel, advising companies like Twitter, T-Mobile, and Sanofi on how to maximize remote work. But it’s also experimenting with how far the concept can go. Herewith, three predictions for the post-office future.
Expanding to a second location can have major advantages for your business—from untapped markets and fresh talent pools to a more vibrant company culture. If you’re thinking about opening a satellite location or even a major headquarters, doing careful research into cost and location will lay the foundation for a successful move.
A second location can offer a financial boost to your business, increasing your production capacity and allowing you to reach new customers. By seeking locations with a strong consumer base and existing services for your product, you can also cut down on shipping expenses and production costs.
For many, working from home has offered a lot of benefits. In the US, people value the ability to focus and be productive with less distractions of the office. Globally, people also value greater work-life balance, more time for family, increased flexibility and greater autonomy. But there are also things people miss about the office. In 10 out of 10 countries surveyed, isolation was the greatest concern from people working at home.
There are plenty of reasons to bring people back to the office, from performance and career growth to engagement and social capital. And Steelcase research demonstrates people plan to be in the office, with 54% anticipating they’ll work from home only one day per week or less. In addition, research suggests as they come back, people will have elevated expectations.
Cities Growing with a Distributed Perspective
2020 was rough. But it wasn’t all bad.
In total, more than $174 million in funding was announced by Indiana tech companies in 2020, with 75 Indiana tech companies earning investments from venture capital funds, private equity funds or growth funds and grants.
DoorDash Building Trades in Phoenix’s Largest Office Deal of 2020
Lincoln Property Co. sold its newly developed Grand2 property, a 358,000-square-foot office building fully leased to San Francisco-based DoorDash. The deal was the largest office transaction in Phoenix last year, and the fifth largest office deal in the US.
Dallas one of the top markets for working at home
“Texas cities were among the top cities for remote work due to the low housing cost and access to high-speed internet, both important factors for remote workers,” said Ryan McGonagill, director of research at InMyArea.com.
CoverMyMeds president says growing list of startup wins make Columbus ‘remarkable’
Leading one of Columbus’ fastest-growing employers, David Holladay has an excellent vantage point to see how outsiders view Central Ohio. CoverMyMeds made more than 300 hires last year, topping 1,500 employees between Columbus, Cleveland, and remote work.