Twilio downsizes San Francisco HQ, goes ‘remote first’

Cloud communications firm consolidates from five floors to two in Financial District

Twilio's Jeff Lawson with 101 Spear St (Twilio, Hudson Pacific Properties)
Twilio's Jeff Lawson with 101 Spear St (Twilio, Hudson Pacific Properties)

Twilio has shifted its office workers into a couple of floors in the Financial District of San Francisco as part of a newly announced “remote first” plan.

The San Francisco-based cloud communications company has consolidated numerous city offices into two floors of redesigned space in Rincon Center, at 101 Spear St., the San Francisco Business Times reported.

The firm once occupied five floors containing 241,354 square feet in the two-tower complex owned by Hudson Pacific Properties, with a lease that runs through 2025.

It also leased part of one floor at 375 Beale St., and Twilio-owned Segment occupied 19,000 square feet at 100 California St. in a lease that expired in April.

It’s unclear whether Twilio has listed its vacated offices in San Francisco on the sublease market. Last week, Twilio said it would list part of its offices in Downtown Denver.

The downsizing comes after a May company announcement saying Twilio would be a “remote first company.” 

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About 72 percent of Twilio’s workforce was hired during the Covid-19 pandemic, and many hadn’t ever been to a Twilio office. The company once planned to implement a hybrid work strategy, but the ongoing pandemic and feedback from employees nixed those plans, the company said.

Twilio conducted a survey that revealed that 88 percent of its employees felt productive working remotely, and that 99 percent didn’t want to return to an office full-time.

“What we learned is that Twilio’s global workforce has adapted really well to working remotely and that Twilions have discovered that — for most jobs— work isn’t something you need to be in the office to do,” said Twilio Chief People Officer Christy Lake.

The move is the latest in a corporate musical chairs in office space, as Bay Area companies led by tech firms adjust their needs to remote work models brought on by the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.

They include Iconiq Capital, Farella Braun + Martel, Qualia Labs, Yelp, Ripple, Splunk, Wells Fargo, and the State Bar of California, with TaskRabbit closing its headquarters for remote work only.

[San Francisco Business Times] – Dana Bartholomew

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