SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — It seems like Bay Area tech companies can’t bring workers in fast enough to support their explosive growth, but one Silicon Valley startup is bucking the hiring trend by offering workers $10,000 to leave the region.
“It’s an incredibly expensive place to live and we thought, ‘This actually isn’t that sustainable,'” said Doug Ludlow, CEO of MainStreet.
Ludlow and his co-founders used to work at Google and want to replicate something the company does well: allowing employees to work remotely, giving their schedules flexibility and helping them avoid the Bay Area’s nightmarish commutes.
MainStreet is offering new employees $10,000 to move out of the Bay Area and work remotely for companies it contracts with.
“The idea, it’s wonderful. I mean it’s providing people an alternative to work from home but still contribute. So, it’s a good idea,” said Siham Salameh, a chemical engineering major at San Jose State University.
Salameh says the one flaw she sees is the idea that tech workers could be lured away from the Bay Area for just $10,000.
“That’s pocket change to people who are actually working here in Silicon Valley,” said Salameh.
However, others told KPIX 5 that leaving the Bay Area and its sky-high cost of living behind isn’t a tough sell at all.
“To anyone who wanted to do it already, that $10,000 would just be icing on the cake,” said Tam Vu.
Ludlow explained telecommuting or working remotely can be done virtually anywhere you have a computer, cell phone and internet connection.
But he said there is a downside. Workers often report feeling isolated, missing the face-to-face contact that comes with being in an office.
“Working remotely today means working from home, for the most part. And there’s a statistic that 50 percent of people within six months want to quit their job. They feel isolated,” Ludlow said.
Ludlow says MainStreet plans to reduce that isolation by using video conferencing and shared work spaces in cities like Sacramento, Portland and Salt Lake City.