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Amazon's Seattle headquarters. Photo: David Ryder / Getty

Amazon has received applications from 238 cities, all vying to be the company's second headquarters. As many have noted, no option perfectly meets all of Amazon's criteria, except one that most wouldn't consider — making its next campus entirely remote. As the world's largest cloud provider, Amazon should apply its distributed-data-center approach to the new campus and create a virtual office instead.

At Atlassian, our employees are distributed globally across five continents, and on my product team of more than 100 people, 65% work remotely. This “embrace remote" strategy has given us the ability to hire and retain the best talent in the world, create a truly diverse workforce, and slow attrition. If Amazon were to commit to a future in which the physical office matters less than the employees filling it, they could have their second campus up and running by 2019.

Here's why:

  • There would be no need to build new offices, housing and infrastructure to support staff (not to mention sparing the cost of moving stipends).
  • Concerns around local talent, university systems, proximity to public transportation and time to operations become obsolete.
  • A balanced and diverse workforce becomes possible when roles are opened to the entirety of the American workforce.
  • Employees would be able to establish a personalized work-life balance, stay in their local community and find meaningful, exciting work with a major company.

Why it matters: Imagine the impact on work migration and urban growth in the U.S. if everyone could have the same opportunity to work for a company like Amazon, no matter what city they call home.

Go deeper

DOJ cites discrimination in lawsuit against Texas over voting districts

Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Department of Justice on Monday filed a lawsuit against Texas, alleging Republican state lawmakers discriminated against Black and Latino voters and has "again diluted the voting strength of minority Texans" when they approved new redistricting maps.

Why it matters: A DOJ assessment of the new districts found that they violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference.

3 hours ago - World

Biden to warn Putin U.S. will add troops in Eastern Europe if Russia invades Ukraine

Putin meets Biden in Geneva. Photo: Peter Klaunzer - Pool/Keystone via Getty

President Biden will warn Russian President Vladimir Putin when they speak on Tuesday that if Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. is prepared to increase its troop presence, capabilities and military exercises on NATO's "eastern flank," a senior administration official told reporters.

Why it matters: The administration believes it's increasingly likely that Putin will order an invasion.

4 hours ago - World

U.S. announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

An Olympic-themed sculpture in Beijing on Dec. 1. Photo: Hou Yu/China News Service via Getty Images

The U.S. announced Monday that it will not send officials to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in protest of human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party.

Why it matters: The diplomatic boycott — which won't prevent American athletes from competing — marks a major escalation between the U.S. and China amid already heightened tensions over the CCP's treatment of Muslim minorities, military threats to Taiwan and economic tariffs.