Seattle has one of the highest percentages of remote workers compared to the national average, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. 46.8% of Seattle workers reported primarily working from home in 2021, which is almost triple the national average of 17.9%. This is largely due to the recent outbreak of disease and the shift towards remote work it caused.

In 2019, only 7.9% of Seattle workers reported working from home, but that figure has now increased dramatically.

This development is significant because both Meta and Microsoft are downsizing their office spaces in the Seattle area due to the shift towards hybrid work and the overall decline in the technology industry, according to The Seattle Times.

Despite having a significant presence in the region since 2010, with nearly 8,000 employees, Meta is currently facing challenges in its business due to the ongoing economic recession. The company’s stock has dropped by 60% in the past year, and in November, it announced that it would be laying off 13% of its workforce, which included over 700 employees in the Seattle area.

According to a report from The Puget Sound Business Journal, Microsoft will not be renewing its lease for a 561,494-square-foot space in downtown Bellevue, Washington.

The company has adopted a hybrid workplace model, which allows for more flexibility in remote work.

The report also states that overall vacancy rates in the region have risen from 16% last year to above 18%. Additionally, only a small number of tech tenants signed new leases downtown during the fourth quarter of the year.

The future of the tech industry and the economy remains uncertain as it is unclear when things will return to pre-crisis levels. In addition, the advancement of artificial intelligence poses a threat to the re-employment of tech workers who were laid off, as automation may replace their roles.

By Eden Reports

Eden Reports is a Seattle-based news reporter with a focus on a wide range of topics, including local news, politics, and the economy.

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