SAN FRANCISCO—The Hub and Spoke office model has been thrust back into the limelight in response to COVID-19. It is a simple concept yet infrequently executed on a global scale: a primary hub office is used to house key functions, teams, meetings and events with spokes leading to convenient local offices where employees can check in and work, according to a report by Cushman & Wakefield.

In the Bay Area, this model has an especially successful history. In 2007, Google opened its first San Francisco office to tap regional talent beyond its Mountain View headquarters. Many Silicon Valley employers have since followed this trend, taking up residence in San Francisco, allowing workers the added flexibility of walking, biking or using mass transit for a shorter commute within the urban core. And today, the popular tech bus is still a mainstay across the region (pre COVID-19, of course), transporting valuable talent across the Bay to Silicon Valley, often at far distances. This latitude of working beyond the traditional hub office can be a pleasant alternative to the vast amount of time that disappears each day into the Bay Area commute.

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Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown is an editor for the south and west regions of She has 25-plus years of real estate experience, with a regional PR role at Grubb & Ellis and a national communications position at MMI. Brown also spent 10 years as executive director at NAIOP San Francisco Bay Area chapter, where she led the organization to achieving its first national award honors and recognition on Capitol Hill. She has written extensively on commercial real estate topics and edited numerous pieces on the subject.

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