Scenes From Silicon Valley’s Cautious Return to the Office

Silicon Valley should be one of the first places to recover as the epidemic goes down in the US About three-quarters of the eligible people have been vaccinated, and more than 80% have received at least one gun – the San Francisco landmark has reached more quickly than any other city, according to the mayor.

And yet, many offices in the tech industry remain virtually empty. Only 19% of San Francisco Municipality office personnel have returned since June 23, which is the lowest allocation for the top 10 U.S. locations followed by the creation of security provider Kastle Systems. Senior regional officials, among the first to send their office staff home when the coronavirus epidemic deepened last year, could be among the last to repatriate them.
In New York, Wall Street banks are urging employees to return to office – and in some cases they need to. The efforts of Tech companies have been very stagnant. Uber Technologies Inc. they said employees could plan to leave office only 50% of the time starting in September, going back from their previous days of three days a week. Google Alphabet Inc. relaxed its rules to allow other employees to work permanently in their homes. Meanwhile, Coinbase Inc. said it planned to close its San Francisco headquarters, declaring itself “far away”.

While traffic reappears occasionally on highways and bridges, and weekend bookings at hot restaurants are hard to come by, the reopening of Silicon Valley is slow. People long to return to the life beyond their computer screens, but not to return to their desks. Many officials are out of town, or spend a lot of time in Los Angeles. Touched by this story, they had the same request: Can we do this conversation via Zoom? A few others, however, have begun to return to the one-time technical areas of technology.

Siri Srinivas, principal at Draper Associates, drank a glass of rosé from the Ferry Building on a mid-week afternoon in May. Last year, when the epidemic broke out, the spectacular market place and the communications of commuters and technology experts were often empty. On that day, however, the visitors were once again packed. Some were apparently guests. Some may pass as locals reconnect with the town they left last year.

Getting out was one of the steps a child Shinivas took to return to normal life. In Pre-Times, his day included back-to-back lunches and coffee with founders, fun hours and deals with other investors and professionals. When she moved into a new apartment in San Francisco during the epidemic, she decorated in part according to what things would look like with Zoom, the visual world where she spends most of her time.
But video calls began to unravel in March, when the epidemic lasted for a year. “I have to lie down because I was so mentally exhausted,” he said.

With the Srinivas now, there is no going back to the way things were, or the reopening of San Francisco. He spends half the summer in New York, and will soon be visiting Europe where his sister lives. With the Bay Area strike unbeaten, New York City is open for weeks. He hopes that the post-vaccination life in Manhattan will be “an exciting one.”

SoMa
Standing at a plaza in the South San Francisco Market area, famous for its headquarters headquarters launch, Jack Mardack wondered aloud how much things had changed. Prior to the epidemic, the small courtyard would have been occupied, with silver tables and chairs occupied by employees from companies such as Social Finance Inc., LinkedIn and DoorDash Inc. – all this is based on the distance. But that afternoon, it was empty. Tables and chairs were set up in a corner.

Mardack is the founder of Oyster HR’s first labor center, which he and his founder founded in April 2020, just as the epidemic was gripping US Now, looking for coffee and accommodation, he and the journalist headed north, passing three coffee shops on a short-distance ride after their customers living in runaway offices during the epidemic.

Mardack spent most of his time in lockdown working early on in his nearby bedroom. Finally housed with Pacifico at the Financial District’s Uno Dos Tacos restaurant, Mardack explains that the last time he saw a co-worker in person in late 2019.

Oyster, which offers a HR platform for remote teams, was introduced by staff working completely remotely from scratch. “The epidemic made things easier for us,” he said, because not going into office was “normal for everyone.” At a fundraiser in June, Oyster doubled its estimate a few months ago, to $ 475 million.

Gradually, Mardack said, he brings some face-to-face contact back to the company’s life. In May, he was having al fresco lunch with a few of his colleagues, some of whom he had never met. And he plans a company-wide trip as Oyster approaches 100 employees. The startup puts aside money for team outings and experiences, Mardack said. But he will still be working at home for a long time.

South Park
The center of the San Francisco engagement capital is an oval park with a quiet playground in the center. Firms with offices using their closest grasses include Kleiner Perkins, Index Ventures and Accel.

On Tuesday afternoon in late June, the founder of Patreon Inc. Sam Yam was sitting at a table outside Blue Bottle Coffee, drinking from a water bottle filled with Hint water.

Yam had brought his fruit juice from Patreon’s office, about a mile south. It is part of efforts to lure employees back to the office. Patreon, a fan forum for sponsors podcasters and other creators, recently planted a few million dollars in its physical space, creating more meeting places and, again, boosting its food game. Yam said he ate lunch that day, sampling some of the new offerings: beef, dried pineapple and grilled beans.
But despite the efforts of Yam and other nearby companies, the park, which is often filled with meetings between capitalist and technical capitalists, is quiet. That afternoon, Blue Bottle had only a few customers and almost no line. South Park benches were mostly empty.

Patreon’s office was opened at a rate of 25%, said Yam, with fewer people than he could see. The office is “very quiet,” admits Yam, “but it’s also nice to be with people.” The businessman said he would like to meet people in person and hoped the staff would soon start filling the office at least a few days a week.

Currently, most Yam meetings are over video or phone calls. But he says gradually, people are starting to suggest meeting for coffee in person.
Palo Alto
A few miles south of San Francisco, the headquarters of companies such as Facebook Inc., Google and Apple Inc. they live a short distance from the Stanford University palm-covered center by Palo Alto. Wendy Gonzalez, chief executive of digital training platform Sama, lives nearby. Every day, he used to take the long trip to San Francisco to the Sami headquarters in the Mission area.

Now, Gonzalez walks a few meters to his desk at 6 a.m., a green plant with leaves and a small painting behind him. Based on his Zoom background, you will never know that he works for the Airstream RV he bought for a family trip during the epidemic that stopped on his street.

During a coffee break at the Palo Alto Coupa Cafe’s state-of-the-art conference, Gonzalez said he appreciates about three hours a day saving for not driving in the city. Still, he expects to return to the office about once a week by the end of the summer. As for his team, it is up to them to decide whether to work at home permanently. The office will be remodeled: When Sama staff return, no one will be allocated desks, and everyone will be given a cupboard to store the items they want to use while they are there.

At the moment Sama is raising money. Gonzalez has held a number of outreach and coffee meetings with investors, but estimates that less than one in 10 of those talks have been in person.
Rosewood
When tech tourists visit the Bay Area, they usually stay at the Rosewood Sand Hill hotel. Its abundant grassland and open rest areas are often littered with tech personas, who flock there to stay close to the world’s largest trading companies, lined with highways and outdoor oak.

Maha Ibrahim, a regular partner at the VC company in Canaan, returned to Rosewood last summer during the epidemic after a long stay. Remember to take a walk around the hotel grounds, only to find well-watered gardens and walls, which is a terrifying sign of the times. “She was dead,” he said.

In June, a few of Rosewood’s diners eat under the yellow umbrellas in the restaurant’s yard. But its library, a living room with sofas and large windows, was empty. In the old days, Ibrahim said, the place would have been full Thursday afternoon.

Rosewood was Ibrahim’s general manager before Covid. At that time, he spent his working days holding public meetings, or traveling between them in cars or on planes. After that, when it closed, the visible meetings simply accelerated his pace: Ibrahim was sometimes booked so backwards that it was hard to find time to use the toilet, he said, let alone the bathroom.

Now that most of the Bay Area has reduced the limits of the Covid period, Ibrahim can add meals and a few people to his calendar. But he is not in a hurry to return to the way things were.

“It’s going to be this crawling, walking, running” is back to normal, Ibrahim said. “On the public side, I am definitely on the move. By profession? Crawl. ”
By Krystal Chia
June 29, 2021, 2:00 PM PDT
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Remembering a chronic epidemic may seem like a strange idea. But worldwide, museums are beginning to collect and exhibit artefacts that reflect the Covid-19 experience. As they keep here-and-now for future audiences, few also offer the opportunity to think about something close to real time.

Methods vary between groups, but certain themes grow over and over again: isolation, rethinking relationships, and the type of treatment that became commonplace about a year and a half ago.

Singapore’s National Museum is one of the few places to hold a body art exhibition (Chinese city of Wuhan, Covid’s first place, another one).

“We knew that if we didn’t start now, time would be wasted,” said NMS chief executive Daniel Tham.

Compiled in four months, Epidemic Illustration has 272 postings, a short film and Covid-related artefacts such as a bowl from the first vaccine given in the city.

The black gallery space feels thoughtful and the show is focused on the public experience. The photos show post office workers on the job, elderly residents alone at home and crew members arriving alone on a cruise ship after recovering in Covid. Empty tables and chairs symbolize merchant centers, small open food courts that occupy an important place in the city’s culture and that have suffered horribly during the plague.

Exhibition is possible in Singapore due to the city’s equal success in reducing the virus. Of the 5.7 million people, more than 2 million people are completely vaccinated, with about 10 new cases every day.

In Austria, where Covid’s daily infection has just dropped to less than three digits, the Wien Museum has begun displaying its online coronavirus.

More than 200 items and 200 photographs were selected from thousands of art objects submitted by members of the public, each showing the nature of the problem in Vienna. This includes handmade masks produced during Vienna’s first closure shortfall and prepaid cards that allow customers to support their local cafes. A dictionary of virus-related vaccines developed by a Ukrainian resident shows the number of people with many cultures and how the language has changed with the epidemic.

The collection process itself tells the story of the city’s growing fatigue during successive locks.

“Since November, people have become less popular to write about this new daily life, because things have become so commonplace,” said curator Martina Nussbaumer. “There are no new items or resources, the only new topic we came up with was exploring places.”
While the Wien Museum reopens on July 1, there is no Covid personal exhibition program yet. Given the widespread impact of the epidemic on life, as well as the daily nature of the collection, Nussbaumer says he is not sure who would want to visit at the moment.

“As a museum of history, we have the idea that you need a certain distance to explore it, in order to have a kind of balance,” he said.

The keepers also think about the future audience at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Other Covid-19 art objects could be included in a comprehensive exhibition called “In Sickness and In Health,” dated 2023.

“We are always gathering with a vision for the future,” said Alexandra Lord, chair of the museum’s Division of Medicine and Science. “One hundred years from now, researchers and visitors will want to understand how people respond to this epidemic.”

Smithsonian is currently seeking items from community members, organizations, businesses and community groups. Donated items include masks emblazoned with slogans, a symbol of protests that came across the U.S. during the epidemic, and a 3D virus model donated by Anthony Fauci, a senior infectious disease doctor in the U.S. government.

The museum also hosted a series of online panels called “Pandemic Perspectives,” in which administrators and historians shared elements that illuminated previous epidemics and current outbreaks.

Trying to save without the help of looking back has made the Covid project difficult for King, who has 15 years of experience as a public history advocate.

“Usually when we collect, it’s a long way off. But this is a personal matter for us, ”he said.

Donations are also usually personal.

“Sometimes people fight for the death of a family member, sometimes people fight for something that is difficult to count,” said Nkosi. “It’s not a joy and a feeling of being caught.”

Nussbaumer points out that museums will never cover the essence of an epidemic-like event.

“What it means to lose a relative, what it means to lose a job, what it means to be able to do for months or to have no money – you can’t show that in things,” Nussbaumer said.

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