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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

14 mins ago - Podcasts

Bob Nelsen on AstraZeneca and his plan to revolutionize biotech

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford on Monday reported promising efficacy data for their COVID-19 vaccine, which has less stringent storage requirements than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and may be distributed earlier in developing countries.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of vaccine and therapeutics manufacturing with Bob Nelsen, a successful biotech investor who on Monday launched Resilience, a giant new pharma production platform that he believes will prepare America for its next major health challenges.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Updated 21 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Unpacking Joe Biden's decision to tap John Kerry as his climate envoy

Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is naming former Secretary of State John Kerry as a special presidential envoy for climate change.

Why it matters: The transition team's announcement sought to show that it will be an influential role, noting that Kerry — a former Massachusetts senator and the Democrats' 2004 presidential nominee — will be on the National Security Council.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine won't just go to rich countries

Waiting, in New Delhi. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images

While the 95% efficacy rates for the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines are great news for the U.S. and Europe, Monday's announcement from Oxford and AstraZeneca may be far more significant for the rest of the world.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca plan to distribute their vaccine at cost (around $3-4 per dose), and have already committed to providing over 1 billion doses to the developing world. The price tags are higher for the Pfizer ($20) and Moderna ($32-37) vaccines.