With San Francisco traffic becoming significantly worse over the past five years, the 35 mile-long commute to Menlo Park is becoming a constant complaint for Facebook employees, according to reports.
In an annual survey given to the employees to gauge their happiness level at the company, one request that consistently ranks at the top is for an office in San Francisco, newsite The Information reported on Friday.
Facebook’s choice to expand to a San Francisco or East Bay location might be prompted by Uber’s decision to open a new, 330,000 square foot office in Oakland, following their new San Francisco location that opened last fall. The East Bay location is set to open in 2017.
However, with the rising cost of living in both San Francisco and the East Bay, a shorter commute time might not be a huge benefit to employees who are trying to cut costs.
According to Zillow, the current median home price in San Francisco is $1,135,900, a value that has increased 9.9% in the past year, and is predicted to continue rising about 1.5% within the next year.
Facebook is known for recruiting employees from across the country and around the world, and these new hires might be forced to pay inflated prices in the city.
Facebook offered its employees at least $10,000 to move closer to the Silicon Valley headquarters, according to a 2015 study conducted by Fortune. The relocation stipend was offered in part to relieve the housing pressure on long-time residents of San Francisco, many of whom complained that they were being pushed out due to rising home costs.
If a San Francisco office opens, employees might be even more incentivized to purchase a home in the city. As many have noted, it would likely do little to reduce renting costs in a city that has the highest median home price in the nation.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is hesitant for other reasons, as well: Proximity, he apparently suggested, builds a stronger company experience.
“At one recent meeting, Zuckerberg told employees that he believes employees should be clustered together and near the executive team for cultural reasons, according to people who were present at the meeting," The Information reported.
One thing’s for sure: With either decision, consequences abound.