Katie Szeto is a product manager and member of the New York City landing team—a small group of Figmates (Figma employees) dedicated to spinning up Figma’s newest hub office. In this post, she shares a bit about why Figma is growing in New York City, how we’re thinking about the hybrid work model, and what she’s excited about in the months ahead.
Last year, Figma co-founder & CEO Dylan Field shared how Figma is moving to a hybrid working model, offering both remote and in-person options. Central to in-person work is what we’re calling hubs—spaces that enable us to better connect with each other and our users around the world. We announced our London hub last September, and today I’m excited to share that Figma’s newest hub is now live in New York City.
The past year and a half has taught us all many things. And for businesses and employees all over the world, one of these lessons is that distributed work works. For some, it’s the ideal setup—less time spent commuting, more flexibility at home with family, and the ability to pursue different ways of life beyond the city. According to Reuters, a net 70,000 people fled the New York Metropolitan Area last year to do just that.
Many Figmates feel similarly. In an internal survey from Q3 2020, we asked, "If Figma had the option for all roles to be remote, would you consider relocating to a non–Figma hub location before the end of 2022?" 68% of Figmates answered yes or maybe. But for others like me, the serendipitous connection and energy that happens when people gather is invaluable.
Like many Figmates, I started during the pandemic, so my only experience at Figma has been that of a remote employee. I was worried that I would feel isolated, but my direct team established a culture that encouraged asking for help—I learned that I could be on a Zoom for a quick consult within seconds of reaching out. More broadly, I also found that there are thoughtful structures in place to ensure that all remote employees have a meaningful experience—robust virtual onboarding sessions called Figma Today, a fully online and globally-accessible Maker Week, spaces to speak openly and honestly about what has been hard, and more.
While I’m confident that Figma has the right approach for me to work remotely indefinitely, I simply wanted to be in an office—I knew that being around coworkers in a shared space would be most fulfilling for me. The workplace team at Figma has designed our hubs with this spectrum of preferences in mind and I was intrigued by the way we reimagined the traditional office space. Timadge Berkhadley, Figma’s Director of Workplace and Employee Engagement says, “While on the surface, they may look like typical pre-pandemic tech offices, hubs are really meant to serve as flexible, inspiring spaces where people and ideas converge—no assigned desks, lots of informal gathering places, beautifully designed to spark conversation, curiosity, and experimentation.”
New York City is full of diverse talent, home to many of our incredible customers, and has a rich history of design. While building out our sales and product development teams will be a primary goal, most of our open roles are available in this hub. We know that the city is the capital for so many creative fields—these teams will be instrumental in building relationships with businesses across industries and sizes, ensuring we build delightful products that fulfill real customer needs, and that we get them in the hands of the people who need them.
I am personally excited to be in New York City for many reasons—a change of scenery, being closer to family, the thriving salsa dance culture!—so when I was asked to relocate as part of the landing team to help establish and grow the team here, the decision was easy. And as the city rebounds and businesses begin to welcome workers back into offices, I’m proud to be here and be part of this community.
The Figma team has doubled since the beginning of 2020, and we can’t wait to continue this momentum of growing and building together. Whether you’re in New York City or elsewhere, prefer working in a shared space or at home in sweatpants, if you could see yourself at Figma, we’d love to chat with you!