C’mon. You didn’t believe that headline, did you?
After all, this is Reddit. And there’s nothing Reddit’s users seem to like more than unleashing their vitriol at Reddit. So when news broke Wednesday that the company was forcing all of its employees to move to San Francisco, well, it was like having their illegal celebrity porn taken away from them all over again.
“Really what Reddit is offering (assuming their [cost of living] is typical),” wrote jordan b on Hacker News, “is that the employee takes a pay cut, or they’re fired. If that’s not a shit sandwich I don’t know what is.”
Reddit CEO Yishan Wong responded to some of the comments on Twitter by explaining that the company was offering a three-month severance package, a cost of living adjustment, and a “generous” relocation package. The move comes just after Reddit raised $50 million in financing.
“Intention is to get whole team under one roof for optimal teamwork,” Wong tweeted. “Our goal is to retain 100% of the team.”
Reddit users weren’t buying it.
“It’s odd that reddit wants everyone to be under one roof when their website brings the works (sic) together,” wrote ElRed on one Reddit thread. “If the work is still fine then why change up? I get a feeling they want everyone under one roof for more control over their workers. For example just being able to walk around and look at what everyone is doing.”
Reddit is not exactly cutting against the grain with this new policy. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously took an enormous amount of heat when she nixed telecommuting as an option and introduced a new work-from-the-office requirement.
And around Silicon Valley, companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple are building gargantuan campuses in an attempt to squeeze as many workers as possible into local operations. No matter how virtual the world and work becomes, these companies still seem to believe that face time and human interaction are crucial to innovation and culture.
At the same time, that mentality has made housing in Silicon Valley and San Francisco increasingly scarce and scary expensive. Many commenters noted that no matter how much Reddit increases pay, employees could essentially be forced to live in cardboard boxes under a bridge, or spend hours commuting from remote outposts of civilization. Like Orinda.
“Despite Silicon Valley fart smellers spouting how amazing and revolutionary everything they do is … at the end of the day, they still want you in a 1950s era M-F 8-5 at our desk and presentable at all times setup,” wrote ScottCarmichael on Reddit. “Anything else is unacceptable. They’re liars.”
VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Learn more about membership.