In San Francisco, the rent — as they say — “is too damn high.”
In an effort to help employees avoid the high cost of living, a small tech company will pay new hires $US10,000 to move out of the Bay Area and work remotely.
In a blog post published March 17, Zapier CEO Wade Foster announced an experimental “de-location” incentive program that will reimburse moving expenses up to $US10,000 if a person accepts a position at the startup and moves out of the Bay Area in the first three months.
“Some of us fall in love with the area and are financially able to make this home. But for the rest of us, it can be a real challenge to turn the Bay Area into a life-long home rather than a short stop somewhere in our twenties and thirties,” Foster wrote.
Zapier, which creates products for automating tasks across apps, is currently hiring freelance writers, engineers, product managers, and other admin roles. Foster told The San Francisco Chronicle it received a lot of interest in the deal since the blog post went up.
The company may broaden the program to support workers looking to leave other pricey cities.
Zapier already has a “100% remote team.” There are no offices, and the three cofounders all work from home. In his blog post, Foster says the company wants to support people’s personal growth, as well as their career goals. Sometimes, that takes employees outside the tech hub.
The Bay Area is one of the most competitive rental markets in the US. In San Francisco, the median rent tops $US4,200 a month, according to real estate site Trulia. One analysis suggests mid- to senior-level engineers at companies like Google, Uber, Airbnb, and Twitter can expect to pay between 40% and 50% of their salary renting an apartment near work.
Millennials, who make up roughly 30% of the San Francisco population, are driving prices sky high.
Zapier’s answer to the red-hot housing market? Let someone else battle it out.