San Francisco neighborhoodWhile most new employees enjoy relocation packages that allow them to move closer to their jobs, the team at Zapier are getting just the opposite. In response to sky high rents and housing costs in San Francisco, this innovative tech firm is doling out $10,000 payments that will allow their staff to work remotely in locations outside of San Francisco.

What Prompted This Move?

Because of a housing crunch in the Bay Area, many families find it hard to afford homes near work. This causes commuting woes for employees who find themselves having to make long treks into the office every day. Zapier, a tech startup, wants to eliminate this problem. The firm’s management is offering a $10,000 “delocation” package to new employees who agree to stay on with the company for a year or longer.

Zapier’s co-founder Wade Foster posits that this move will make it easier to recruit top talent who might otherwise find living in San Francisco cost prohibitive. Although many are attracted to the tech scene there, they simply cannot afford to enjoy the quality of life they want for their families. He acknowledges the housing problems that the city faces and thinks that his moves will give his employees the peace of mind of knowing they can keep more money in their pockets without having to shell out big bucks for rent and mortgages.

The company’s 80-person staff all work remotely, and Foster hopes to expand his new delocation program to his entire team. The move reimburses moving expenses of up to $10,000 for the first three months of the the move. In return, employees are expected to stay in their jobs and serve the company for up to a year.

Programs like this may find traction in other cities as well. Housing shortages and high rent prices affect families in cities like New York, San Jose, Los Angeles and Boston, making it harder for companies to enjoy fresh talent and take advantage of skilled intellectuals from colleges and universities in the area.

With so many new graduates facing steep college loan repayments and crushing debt, it can be hard for them to survive, even on six-figure salaries. In my time as a tax lawyer in San Francisco, I’ve seen rent skyrocket, and traffic multiply exponentially over the years. It’s no surprise to me that a cutting edge tech firm like Zapier would craft a creative package to attract top talent. The delocation program is underway and Foster expects that it will be a shining success.

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