Author: Craig Spangler
Last week Zapier a California startup that connects applications through automated workflows announced that they would be offering new employees who leave the Bay area $10,000 to do so. This link outlines the reasoning behind what they are calling an experiment. The short of it is they feel like not all of their employees want or can afford to live in the Bay area, however many feel leaving would sacrifice their careers. Zapier is committed to allowing employees to work 100% remotely and this initiative is reinforcing that.
Great, another Silicon Valley company that is creating a gimmicky benefit to their employees, that can’t be replicated in other industries right? Maybe, but that doesn’t mean that Buffalo cannot capitalize. When stories like this come out, I always feel that the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and our local officials should be on the phone to the company with information on what Buffalo has to offer. They can also be involved with the social media engagements around these stories, telling others who are either are currently working remotely or are interested in doing so that Buffalo is a great option. Maybe there could be some sort of added Buffalo incentive to anyone who takes the package and moves here.
Do I think that all of the employees that take the $10k package from Zapier would move to Buffalo? No, but this can still show that we are an innovative city that is looking for new talent. While Buffalo’s tech scene has improved recently, we still lag behind most of the country. According to a recent Brookings report, Buffalo ranked 97th out of the top 100 US metros for absolute tech job growth from 2013-2015 and our share of the total number of national tech jobs is declining. Some unconventional means may be needed to continue to help our nascent tech startup community. Bringing employees here to work remotely with startups in the Bay Area could be another piece of the puzzle.