Facebook looks to grow in Boston, despite new work-from-home policy – MassLive.com


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg expects that 50% of his company’s massive workforce could work remotely for the next five to 10 years. But that’s not stopping the social networking giant from looking to expand its real-estate footprint in Greater Boston.

Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) is on the hunt for around 300,000 square feet of office space in the region, according to a quarterly report from Colliers International Boston.

The company leases 130,000 square feet at 100 Binney St. in Cambridge’s Kendall Square. It’s unclear if Facebook would move from its existing office or expand into entirely new space. A company representative did not return messages seeking comment.

As of the end of last year, the company owned and leased 9 million square feet of office space for its Menlo Park, California headquarters as well as surrounding areas. It has offices in 70 cities worldwide, as well as 15 data centers, according to its most recent annual report.

Zuckerberg on May 21 announced an update to the company’s remote-work policy.

“There are some very clear benefits to remote work. It lets us access talent pools outside of traditional tech hubs in big cities — and that should help spread economic opportunity much more widely around the country and world while also helping us build a more diverse company,” Zuckerberg said. “Over the past few decades, economic growth in the US has been quite concentrated, with major companies often hiring in a handful metropolitan areas. That means we’ve been missing out on a lot of talented people just because they happen to live outside a major hub. Creating opportunities beyond these cities could also be part of the economic recovery, especially if more companies hire remotely as well.”

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But there are some Facebook jobs that cannot be done remotely, such as a data center technician. Zuckerberg also said he’s “concerned about weaker social bonds between colleagues, especially new hires, and there’s an open question about whether groups of people are less creative when they’re not together.”

Greater Boston’s office market had a rocky second quarter, but there are still a number of large-scale offices underway in downtown Boston, including towers at One Congress, Winthrop Center, and One Post Office Square.

And Facebook isn’t just targeting Boston for an expansion. It’s also increasing its footprint in New York, the Colliers report said. Zuckerberg in his May 21 live-stream also said the company was setting up hubs in Atlanta, Dallas and Denver.

“Work from home became the new normal for many office workers. Whether that changes a company’s long-term plans is undetermined, although some say they will reduce space needs due to the success of working remotely,” the Colliers report says. “The office isn’t going anywhere, though work from home may become a highly- sought-after perk.”

This article originally appeared on the Boston Business Journal website.



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