This article was published on March 20, 2017

Company offers $10k to employees willing to ditch the Bay Area

Company offers $10k to employees willing to ditch the Bay Area
Bryan Clark
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Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Zapier doesn’t believe in relocation. In fact, it’s trying to incentivize current employees to de-locate by offering them $10,000 to leave. The Bay Area, that is, not the company.

Zapier CEO Wade Foster says the offer is an experimental one. After moving to the Bay Area five years ago, Foster is aware of all the benefits of living there: great weather, beaches, wine country, skiing, and a location that puts you in the heart of tech-central. These perks don’t come for free. In recent years, San Francisco and the surrounding area has become one of the most expensive places in the United States to live, and is facing a severe housing shortage that should only worsen the problem.

“I know there are quite a few people in the Bay Area who are new parents looking to find a better standard of living,” Foster told SFGATE. “It’s difficult for a family of four to afford rent, a mortgage, or child care here in the Bay Area. Even if you are a two-income family this can still be difficult.”

Difficult, in this case, could actually border on impossible. The average two-bedroom residence in San Francisco, for example, runs approximately $4,500 — nearly double what that same place would have cost you in 2011.

If you’re looking for space to spread out in a three-bedroom, I hope the company you’re working for is near an IPO, or you’ve got an ambiguous stance on selling extra organs.

A Twitter engineer recently ranted about the perils of trying to live in the Bay Area on his $160,000-a-year salary. Spoiler alert: it’s not easy.

Since Zapier team members work remotely, the company doesn’t really care where you live. It’s hoping the $10,000 could entice Bay Area residents who accept a position with the company to look elsewhere in search of a better life.

The offer is open to new employees currently living in the Bay Area. The catch? You’ll have to work at Zapier for a year, which doesn’t seem like a bad deal to me.  If successful, Zapier hopes to offer the same incentive to others living in expensive cities outside the Bay Area.

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