Real Estate

Pinterest Pays $89.5M To Cancel New Office Lease As Employees Work At Home

Pinterest is canceling its upcoming lease to move into a San Francisco office that it doesn't need because its workers will be working from home, a report Monday (Aug. 31) from KCBS Radio said.

The plan was for the social media tech giant to lease a near-490,000 square-foot office at 88 Bluxome, in San Francisco's SoMa neighborhood. The neighborhood is involved in the redevelopment of the old San Francisco Tennis Club.

However, with the pandemic's shift to working from home, Pinterest decided to pay $89.5 million to terminate the lease, the report said. The reasoning, according to a statement from the company, is that its workforce will now be more "geographically distributed." Pinterest is planning to keep its current headquarters on Brannan Street, just one block away.

With this move, Pinterest joins fellow tech giants like Apple, Facebook and Twitter in allowing employees to keep working from home — which wouldn't have happened in pre-pandemic days. The allowance to keep working from home is extended at least through the end of this year, and possibly longer — Twitter made headlines in May by announcing that its employees would be allowed to work from home forever if they choose.

Due to the pandemic, 42 percent of the U.S. workforce now works from home, the report said, which is up from around 14 percent before the pandemic. CBS News Senior Business Analyst Jill Schlesinger said there could be an increase in flexibility for everyone with the shift, as companies could hire more people from different locales.

A recent PYMNTS report notes the ripple effects that the work-from-home transition will have on the American economy overall. As people drive less, the auto industry could see pains. And when working in an office, people had to take time to stop for gas, food and other necessities on the way to and from the office — the absence of that could significantly change the way the economy works.

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