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Erik Hayden Jan 25, 2022 10:37:00 AM 6 min read

Company Culture and the Demand for New Office Space


One of the questions I’m asked most often is, “Why build more office space during a pandemic?”

The answer is simple: Because there’s demand for it.

Anyone paying attention to the news around Silicon Valley knows that office space has been at a premium. Covid or no Covid, tech companies have continued to grow and they’re migrating south. For instance, Apple has leased 700,000 square feet of office space in Sunnyvale, and Meta Platforms (Facebook) , whose apps include Facebook, leased 719,000 square feet there. San Jose also has been a huge beneficiary as well.  

Overall,  leadership at these tech companies has made it clear they want a return to the office, either full time or a hybrid model. So why, in the age of communications tools like Zoom, do many companies want to bring their folks back to the office? 

A key reason, some say, is company culture.

A recent article by Bloomberg takes a look at the return to the office and finds that while productivity wasn’t threatened by employees working remotely, company culture was.

“While talking to nearly a dozen CEOs about this attachment to a physical space, they all had the same reason for bringing people back,” the article reads. That reason was culture.

The article quotes Judith Carr-Rodriguez, the CEO of FIG, a New York City-based advertising firm, who said this about remote work: “I know people are being productive, but are they learning, growing, being challenged? I worry we're creating a culture where people are not exposing themselves in ways they would be in the office.”

I can relate. Urban Catalyst has worked hard to create and maintain a great culture, and our team has been rewarded, both personally and professionally. That’s why we were happy to welcome our team back to our offices in June.

The Bloomberg article cites a June survey of 1,000 human resources professionals. Fewer than 10 percent, Bloomberg reported, have long term plans to keep a full-remote workforce.

That’s easy to understand. There is no substitute for real-life person-to-person interactions, and that’s why, as long as companies keep growing, there will be demand for new office space.

Contact us to learn more about our Fund II, which will bring additional office space as well as residential apartments to downtown San Jose.


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