E-commerce giant Amazon is pressing pause on the construction of six planned office buildings in Bellevue, Washington and Nashville, Tennessee in order to better accommodate hybrid work. The company said further build-out of the projects would be postponed after construction on lobby areas and exteriors are completed. “Like many companies, we’re still learning how these new habits may impact our office footprint,” said Amazon’s John Schoettler. Though the company halted plans for the space, it said it would not impact hiring plans. Amazon has said it will create 25,000 jobs in Bellevue and 5,000 in Nashville.
Amazon isn’t the only major tech firm scaling back its office plans. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is reportedly opting out of expanding its New York City office by an additional 300,000 square feet. The company also postponed plans to expand its space at its new office in Hudson Yards. The news comes at a time of high inflation and recent indications that interest rates will once again be raised.
Whether Amazon and Meta’s decision to cut back on planned office space is a sign of more to come in terms of companies scaling back or rethinking the build-out of their space is uncertain. However, some markets have seen more workers back in the office. Foot traffic in New York City’s office buildings jumped 76 percent in the first half of this year compared to the same time period last year, according to a recent report. The study also found an uptick in foot traffic in Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston from last year. While numbers are still significantly lower than pre-pandemic times, it’s an encouraging sign that things are trending upward. As companies across the country decide what office strategy works best for their employees, it’s clear there is no one-size-fits-all approach.