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Amazon goes long on office

Amazon is expanding its physical offices in six U.S. cities and adding thousands of corporate jobs in those areas, an indication the tech giant is making long-term plans around office work. The plans include 2,000 jobs at the former Lord & Taylor flagship at 424 Fifth Avenue, which Amazon acquired from WeWork for $1.15 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.

  • Worth Noting: The e-commerce giant was early in sending employees home when the pandemic hit, and is allowing its office staff to continue working remotely until Jan. 8.
  • Heard on the Street: Amazon VP of Workforce Development: “The ability to connect with people, the ability for teams to work together in an ad hoc fashion—you can do it virtually, but it isn’t as spontaneous… We are looking forward to returning to the office.”
  • Flashback: Amazon said the expansions aren’t derived from or linked to any financial incentives from local or state governments. This comes more than a year after its closely watched plans to establish one part of a second headquarters in LIC crumbled following backlash from some state, city, and congressional officials and activists over the plans, which included roughly $3 billion in tax incentives. The Fifth Avenue office is scheduled to open in 2023.
  • Be Smart: A new survey by architectural firm Gensler found that fewer than 10 percent of lawyers across the US want to work from home full-time — a figure that likely applies in most other white-collar professions. [WSJ+CO]

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