Impact of companies permanently converting to remote work on Bay Area real estate?

Yesterday, Quora announced that it will become remote first permanently (even post-covid):

Will most (large) tech companies go remote-first permanently, even post-covid?

What are your predictions on the impact of Bay Area property prices and rent?

If you are heavily invested in Bay Area real estate, how would you minimize risk?


Quora is not known of innovation as such, other than allowing bunch of people to ask questions and have them answered. Such work can easily be done remotely.

The remote workers leaving bay area is not as big a threat as regulations put by state and its agencies. Prop to repeal some parts of Prop 13 will be a good one to watch.

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Most of the bay area tech companies will have remote worker concept going forward and it will likely affect the population growth in bay area.

Companies will accept new hires as remote workers, any where from USA or world, and compensate (cost reduction) accordingly.

COVID has shown it is practically possible use remote worker effectively and make this aggressively. This transformation is happening in all big bay area companies already.

Regarding real estate, it may likely affect, but how much will not be known until we see the reality.


There is an entire other thread already on this in this forum - I would go over there to discuss as there is already a lot of discussion happening on the topic


This is probably one of the most complete chain of thoughts for Remote work after COVID-19. Good read.

Most of the arguments in the Quora CEO article are really about having an office in the Bay Area. If the whole company moves to Austin (but I heard commute is bad in Austin) or other lower-cost cities most of the benefits can be realized without having to go to such extremes of permanent WFH. Maybe because Quora is a startup and it only hires talented and disciplined employees so WFH works out well for them, but in my personal view for the general population permanent WFH will not produce good productivity.

If you believe that the office environment provides no value and we have been all wrong all these years since modern offices were invented then you must be getting ahead of yourself. My personal assessment is permanent WFH does not work for most people. Even for introvert coding nerds who sit in front of computers all day will benefit from sitting in an office environment where they get to practice their scarce social skills over face-to-face meetings and lunches/coffee breaks. Zoom meetings just don’t have the same kind of personal touch.


Zoom is worse than face2face for introverts like me. I prefer emails and messaging. No face2face. No video conferencing. No phone. Not interested in socializing.

All companies – start up and later stage – should hire talented and disciplined employees who are productive. Employees, who are hired only to meet some diversity quota are bad for shareholders, economy and morale of coworkers. Look where Intel is going. Cannot even make a chip the right way these days.

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@erth What is wanted is to have the cake and eat it too.

Full employment and high paying for Americans regardless of race, gender, and skill/ knowledge.

The situation is crazy in USA. With 47k increase new cases yesterday, it is horrible.

As per USA/CA/Santa Clara county, all companies are forced to provide cubicle space with certain length, height and width. They need to maintain highly sanitized facilities, keep 6 feet distance apart from each employee, have thermometer at work spot to measure the temperature…etc. This is to avoid diseases like Covid getting spread at company environment.

When one worker got COVID-19 in our workspace, company evacuated entire building holding 300 people, deep sanitize the building. They may not know how many people in the building got spread by COVID, asked all 300 people stay at home for 14 days. Whoever is not affected after 14 days allowed to come.

This cycle repeats when next worker gets sick at that building. If COVID spreads at work, results death, who is accountable?

I am not talking about hypothetical situation, my company goes through these steps every time one employee gets sick inside the building. Now, they locked the gates mandatory and no one is allowed to enter the building without prior permission. We need justify reason why to enter building, take a mandatory training, and then visit the office.

There are chances at least 5 workers out 1000 will get COVID in any company.

This is across USA, every state is working of office standards to protect the workers ! It is nightmare cost for companies to maintain such standards be it Austin or Bay area.

Medicine? There is no hope for next 1 year through 3 years, by that time entire US people would have crossed the COVID virus.

With such condition, there is no chance for bay area tech companies to open the door any time until real medicine is available.

This made permanent WFH are not extremes and is the safest way for companies to run now.


Good explanation of why companies want to have WFH till further notice than to deal with hassles of creating a covid proof workplace.

I agree WFH is the correct choice at the moment, but I hope this will eventually pass and we won’t be stuck in this situation for the next 3 or 5 years. Given there are so many vaccines being worked on at the moment, you would think at least one of them would hold some promises in the end, even if not 100% effective.

If it turns out that COVID will be with us for the remainder of our short lives, the whole society will look different. Older people and people with underlying conditions will die faster than otherwise, so maybe the giant medical costs in the US will finally come down. This will provide extra motivation for people to stay healthy in order to live longer (well it sounds like an oxymoron) which will further reduce our costs. Hmm, maybe it’s not a bad outcome after all …

When? 1 year, 2 year or 3 year or 5 years…Until then, we need to adjust.

Medical cost one-side, tax revenue reduction other side as a result of covid-workers, world wide supply chain reduction, company lay offs, and extended un-employment duration.

Tax revenue loss > Medical expense reduction.

Cities, counties filing bankruptcies: This is being averted by FED unlimited funding (loans to states) which is going on.

FED does not have infinite capacity to print money. Real Economy must start.

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