"You’re a tech company, why are you in Kansas City and not Silicon Valley?"
This time of year (winter), we ask ourselves the same thing! Yes, living in the Midwest, winter weather and traffic jams are just part of everyday life. Recently I found myself in a major backup. Turning to local radio for traffic updates, I happened to catch an interesting story on flex working. (Trust me, the irony of listening about people working from home while stuck in traffic on the way into the office is not lost on me.)
Not surprisingly, they reported on the increase of flex jobs and employees who either work remotely or split their time between home office and corporate office. What was surprising was that Kansas City is one of the largest markets for flex job opportunities. One factor was a growing tech industry. The bigger factor: KC has the fastest reported internet times. Remember back in 2011, when Kansas City was selected to be the first to launch Google Fiber? That’s invaluable for an online tech platform!
We are also smack dab in the middle of the country, making flights shorter and cheaper to each coast. This makes a remote/commuting job even more feasible.
Kansas City has also been identified as an 18-hour city, lively all day and into the night – but not the all-night culture like New York City or L.A. What does that mean for the talent pool? KC is attracting millennials who crave urban culture and space but can’t afford to live in a major metropolitan area. With a healthy economy and relatively low cost of living, young professionals can afford to buy single family homes if desired.
Then there’s the Midwestern work ethic. It exists. It grew, if you pardon the pun, from the area’s agricultural history and roots. Basically, people in the Midwest are willing to rise earlier, stay later, and get the job done. Plus, people here are genuinely friendly and willing to help others.
So there you have it, some of the reasons that we put up with low temps, ice, and snow to make this area the corporate office for our technology company. But the final, and right now most important reason?
How 'bout them Chiefs!!!