Meta, Microsoft Vacate Offices In US Over WFH, Massive Layoffs: Report

Meta, Microsoft Vacate Offices In US Over WFH, Massive Layoffs: Report

Meta and Microsoft have accepted remote work. (Comparative)


Facebook parent Meta and Microsoft are leaving office buildings in Seattle and Bellevue in Washington – in the latest sign of changes in the technology sector and weakness in the office market here – according to the Seattle Times.

Facebook confirmed on Friday the plan to establish its offices in the six-story Arbor Block 333 in downtown Seattle, and in the 11-story Block 6 of the Spring District in Bellevue, the Seattle Times reported.

The Menlo Park, California-based company said it is also considering listings for other office buildings in Seattle. A weak market is a phase in the economic cycle characterized by more buyers than sellers and lower prices.

The Seattle Times said on the same day, Redmond-based Microsoft confirmed reports that it will not renew its lease at the 26-story City Center Plaza in Bellevue after that lease expires in June 2024.

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According to the Seattle Times, the announcements come as the continued popularity of remote work and the slow pace of technology along with many layoffs have reduced the demand for office space in Seattle and elsewhere.

Both Meta and Microsoft have accepted remote work while eliminating their employees as the technology sector weakens, according to the daily newspaper. In November, Meta announced the layoff of 726 workers in Seattle.

Meta spokeswoman Tracy Clayton told the Seattle Times that the lease decisions were due to the company’s move toward remote work, or “distribution.” But he pointed out, “given the economic costs,” Meta was also “trying to be … fiscally prudent”.

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Meta occupies all of Arbor Block 333 in Seattle and would have occupied all of Block 6, which is scheduled to open later this year. The company still has offices in 29 buildings, with nearly 8,000 employees, in the Seattle area, which remains the second largest engineering firm outside of its Menlo Park headquarters, which said Clayton.

A Microsoft spokesperson said the decision about City Center Plaza is part of an ongoing review of the company’s “real estate to ensure we provide a unique place to work and maximize collaboration with people.” general for our employees.”

The decision of the City Center Plaza also comes amid the major renovation of the Microsoft campus in Redmond, a part of which will be completed by the end of 2023. But the daily newspaper said, Friday’s news adds to an already bleak outlook for the Seattle office market as it struggles against it. economic headwinds and the inevitable return of workers to remote offices.

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That struggle is most visible in downtown Seattle, where the vacancy rate is currently at 25 percent, according to a new report by real estate firm Colliers.

The Seattle Times says that even vacant offices are often half-empty, due to remote work. As of last summer, downtown Seattle has only 40 percent of its pre-pandemic workforce, according to mobile phone data from published by the Downtown Seattle Association.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an affiliate feed.)

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