Amazon (AMZN) said Tuesday it plans to hire 3,500 additional workers in cities across the United States. This move commits the e-commerce giant to a significant expansion of office space at a time when others in the tech industry are embracing telecommuting indefinitely.
The new hires will add to Amazon’s efforts in cloud computing, advertising, smart assistants and grocery delivery, among other areas, the company said in a blog post. The office expansions will take place in New York, Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Phoenix and San Diego, reflecting a $1.4 billion investment and more than 905,000 square feet of additional office space.
The expansion in New York City, in particular, comes after Amazon backed out of plans last year to build a second headquarters in the city amid fierce opposition from locals. Amazon has since said it would take over a 335,000-square foot space in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards. And on Tuesday, Amazon said it would open a 630,000-square foot office at the Lord & Taylor building on Fifth Avenue, which it acquired earlier this year.
“Teams in these cities will support various businesses across Amazon, including AWS, Alexa, Amazon Advertising, Amazon Fashion, OpsTech, and Amazon Fresh, among others,” Amazon said in its blog post. “We expect to hire for a variety of roles, from cloud infrastructure architects and software engineers to data scientists, product managers, and user experience designers.”
The move is the latest example of how some large tech companies are simultaneously betting on a future that involves office work even as they continue to extend telecommuting options amid the pandemic. Amazon has told most of its own corporate employees they are unlikely to return to the office until early next year.
Facebook (FB), which has previously said as much as half of its workforce could be working remotely within the next five to 10 years, is also expanding its physical footprint. This month, the social media giant said it would lease 730,000 square feet in the old post office building at Penn Station in New York City.
These investments are likely long-term bets. The typical duration for office leases on spaces larger than 100,000 square feet is more than 12 years, according to Victor Calanog, the head of commercial real estate economics at Moody’s Real Estate Solutions.
“While this crisis will likely prompt the office sector to evolve, it’s also quite unlikely that the most extreme predictions that everyone working from home 100 percent of the time will come true,” Calanog said in a recent Moody’s webinar.