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Report explains why companies are expanding offices in Austin, despite remote workforces

It seems like we hear about tech companies gobbling up more office space in Austin every day.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: The video above was published when Meta announced it was expanding offices in Austin.

It seems like we hear about tech companies gobbling up more office space in Austin every day.

Meta, Facebook's parent company, recently signed a lease for most of a new high-rise planned for Downtown Austin. In early January, Meta signed the lease for the entire commercial half of the building at West Sixth and Guadalupe streets. The high-rise is currently under construction and is expected to be the tallest building in Austin when completed. 

RELATED: Facebook parent company Meta signs lease for Austin's tallest building

Meta isn't alone. It's believed TikTok is planning to expand in Downtown Austin, as well as Snap Inc.

After the pandemic forced non-essential companies to transition to remote work, many companies announced they would transition to remote-first or remote-only workplaces, including Meta. That led to chatter about what that would mean for office space, especially in downtown areas.

RELATED: City of Austin hosts annual career expo at Palmer Events Center

Meta is one of those companies that has embraced remote and flexible work for its employees in this new era. That begs the question: Why are companies with mostly remote workforces still investing in expensive office space in Downtown Austin?

According to an article from the Austin Business Journal, big companies still see unique and engaging physical office spaces as playing an important role in their company culture. 

"We’ve always taken a lot of pride in our unique office experience and believe our physical spaces play a vital role in building our culture. Whether it’s the unique space design or diverse artwork, we’ve always considered our offices to be a physical representation of our values and still believe they’re vitally important to accommodate growth and collaboration," a Meta spokesperson told Austin Business Journal.

And Downtown Austin is a prime location for physical offices due to the proximity to retail, restaurants and bars.

Austin is also seeing massive job growth since 2020. The Wall Street Journal named Austin the No. 1 big city in terms of its job market due to the city's robust job growth and lower unemployment rate, among other factors. The Austin Business Journal also reported the Austin metro has added 60,000 office jobs since February 2020, which is a 60% increase.

Read the Austin Business Journal's full report on the expansion of office space online.

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