New York City tech startups are reacting to the workplace upheaval caused by COVID by subletting their spaces, breaking their leases and negotiating lower rents.
Keeping startups around is critical to maintaining the tech ecosystem, since small tech companies draw skilled workers to the city and create the innovation that attracts big tech, said Maria Gotsch, chief executive of the business group Partnership for New York City’s investment fund. While the pandemic has caused companies from all industries to rethink the traditional workplace, Ms. Gotsch said in the long run even tech startups will need office space. Workers in their 20s and 30s often rely on the office as a way of meeting people when they move to the city after college or graduate school. “If you are not addressing that desire of that demographic, to give them a place to work, you are potentially impeding your ability to recruit those people,” she said.