San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks to San Francisco City Hall.
Eric Risberg | AP
San Francisco Mayor London Breed said her high-tech city will have to adjust to a new reality with many workers not returning to the office.
In an interview that aired Friday night on CNBC “News with Shepard Smith” Breed acknowledged that tech workers are returning to the physical space in San Francisco more slowly than in other major cities.
“I wouldn’t call it an outcome. I would call it a change,” Breed said. “We have survived a global pandemic. People worked from home. And I think most employees want some level of work from home back to the office. And many employers provide such an opportunity.”
San Francisco’s vacancy rate rose to 24.2% in the second quarter from 23.8% in the prior period, according to CBRE research. The Breed office estimates that a third of San Francisco’s workforce is now working remotely and outside the city. This resulted in a $400 million decline in tax revenue last year, according to the San Francisco Comptroller’s Office.
“Of course I’m concerned about this trend, but then again, you know, it was a global pandemic when life changed,” Breed said.
Some technology companies have moved from California to states like Texas and Florida. Others have closed their offices in favor of shifting to remote work or downsizing in preparation for a hybrid future. sales departmentSan Francisco’s largest private employer, said this week that cutting its San Francisco office space for the third time during the pandemic, and now has 40% of the 43-story building that sits across the street from the main Salesforce tower.
However, not every major tech employer is cutting costs. Breed, who said she works from her office five days a week, pointed to companies such as Autodesk, Google as well as Twilightwhich have expanded their office space in recent years.
“They’ve expanded their acres, but they’ve also chosen San Francisco as their headquarters,” Breed said, referring to some of the companies. “Some companies are looking for other alternatives,” but what San Francisco offers, she says, is the highest concentration of venture capitalists “anywhere in the country.”
Breed said the city center has recently seen a surge in foot traffic after a prolonged drought due to Covid-19 shutdowns. She talked about the recent Golden State Warriors championship. paradewhich attracted about 800,000 people in a city of about 875,000.
Last month, breed proposed an annual budget of $14 billion for fiscal year 2022-23. More than a third of this money was allocated to public works, transport and commerce, including the municipal transport agency.
For San Francisco to thrive: “I think there’s actually going to be a need to make adjustments,” Breed said. that we also need to focus, and work in the office will just be an adaptation to the changes.”