Ever since the pandemic, millions of tech workers have made a beeline to the tier-2 and 3 cities and towns, far from the high costs of living, traffic, and hustle and bustle of major cities.
Now, with remote work increasingly turning into a norm, it seems rather unlikely that the major tech hubs of Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston, will ever regain their vibrant, colorful, industrious tech streak in the future.
While the shift to remote work among knowledge workers has brought about a host of benefits for companies, employees, and the environment, there are a number of reasons why developers should reconsider work-from-home.
This sounds like something coming from a tech exec tasked to bring employees back to office, but there is plenty of sound reasoning in the reasons discussed below.
The way things stand, moving to major tech hubs may not even be on the horizon for most developers and tech workers, but you might want to compare cross-country moving companies, and set aside a plan for relocating, given the broader trends that have started taking shape.
It may not be within this year, or even the next two years, but a return to the office, for core engineering roles is definitely happening.
1.) Access To A Thriving Tech Scene
One of the most compelling reasons to stay and work in Silicon Valley has long been the front row seats that residents had to the cutting edge innovations of their times.
With Alphabet, Meta Platforms, Apple, and a slew of other tech giants located close to one another, the place exudes brilliance and innovation from every nook and corner.
Whether you are a developer, an agency, or are planning to launch a startup, staying close to this many techies, angel investors, VCs, and founders can never hurt, and only stands to help grow your mindset, thought-process, and business prospects.
2.) Networking Opportunities
During its pre-pandemic heydays, tech hubs such as Boston, Seattle, and San Francisco were known for their numerous events, meetups, and conferences.
Such events were great for the spread of new information and technologies, while allowing people to network with like-minded individuals.
Today, even though such events have moved online, their impact, and experience is far from the same, robbing young graduates and developers of a crucial learning opportunity.
While the networking scene is yet to recover from the pandemic lull, it will undoubtedly kick-off in various tech hubs within the next few months as people feel starved of the human touch, and long for physical meetups and interactions.
3.) Cultural Diversity
Being the melting pot of cultures from all across the world was the hallmark of tech hubs, with unique perspectives and worldviews, along with the famed immigrant drive resulting in monumental technological and creative innovations over the past few decades.
MIgration from these cities and the rise of work from home was a major loss in this regard, with people from different countries and cultures no longer able to interact with each other the same way.
Being located in an urban tech hub offers more than just opportunities, it helps individuals broaden their horizons, and become capable of conversing, working with, and doing business with anyone, located anywhere in the world.
4.) High Quality Of Life
New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Seattle, among others, have long been known as some of the best cities in the world, in terms of quality of life.
If you can afford the cost of living, there is no better place you would rather be, than these major tech hubs.
With world-class public transportation systems, schools, universities, robust health care, and an enviable nightlife, these cities have rightfully been dubbed one of the ‘Greatest Cities In The World.’
Although a few of them have regressed to a certain extent, with rise in crime, homelessness, and flight of businesses, this is mostly the result of the pandemic itself, and should return back to normal over the coming years.
5.) Career Advancement Opportunities
Whether you are a freelancer, an agency owner, a developer, or a tech startup founder, urban tech hubs are constantly brimming with potential.
If you want to learn a new skill, pivot, or transition into a new role, everything is possible, given the sheer range of companies and jobs that grace these lands.
You might say that remote work provides the same wide range of options and more, but in reality, it is the personal touch, connections, and networking that is crucial for realizing and making the most of these opportunities.
It is also worth noting that not everything in tech is software, there are plenty of cutting edge developments on the hardware front, for which work-from-home is not always an option. In such cases, being present in major tech cities is an undeniable advantage.
While remote work offers its share of benefits, there are plenty of reasons to relocate to major tech cities.
This might seem rather unlikely at the moment, but a return to the office is on the cards at most leading tech companies in the years ahead, and having a presence in these cities will be a great added advantage.