Silicon Valley is known best for its buzzing startup scene, the plethora of programmers and – last but not least – its skyrocketing cost of living. In order to get by in the city, studies have shown that a single person needs to make at least $120,000 annually. This whopping number is part of the reason why a large percentage of the workforce chooses to live outside of the city and commute to work each day. New studies on these factors are being published regularly and it does not look like the debate around whether or not it’s “worth it” to live in the city is going to end anytime soon.
There’s a trend we’re seeing both large and small companies jump on in recent years: moving the location of their headquarters out of Silicon Valley and into other technology hubs around the country. Amazon is a prime example of this with its Seattle-based location. Other companies have followed suit, causing the number of technology workers to rise to 250,000+ in Washington this year. This solution is ideal for the companies willing to make the move but it is not something the average employee often has control over. With that, we have three tips employees who live outside of the city can implement to alleviate this issue themselves:
1) Reorganize your schedule to keep as many of your internal and external meetings to one or two days a week. While maintaining a solid amount of face time with your team is crucial for building relationships and keeping everyone happy at work, dedicating one to two days a week in the office will allow you to keep up the face time while also giving you time to work remotely. Not having to commute to work each day lowers your travel costs too – a win, win for both the company and employees!
2) Ramp up your home office by choosing high-tech products and solutions to help you do your job both better and faster. Select a high-speed computer you can rely on, a panoramic video camera system that mimics the human eye to create a natural viewing experience (hint hint) or even an automated sit-to-stand desk that adjusts as quickly as your needs do. Shop around and invest in a quality home office experience – it’s worth it!
3) Scope out coworking spaces around your neighborhood and weigh the cost of transportation to see if it’s worth your while to snag a desk that’s closer to home. For employees who are simply unable to work from home (due to distractions or inadequate working conditions), this may just be the perfect solution. Bonus: If you have colleagues that live near you, you might want to look into leasing a private office in a coworking space to get even more bang for your company’s buck.
The cost of living in Silicon Valley does not look like it’s going down anytime soon which calls for some creative solutions for employees to work around this. Reorganizing your schedule, ramping up your home office and scoping out nearby coworking space will help improve employees’ work experience while keeping Silicon Valley’s technology scene alive.