One alternative for tech companies is to build out in other cities like Seattle, Austin or Chicago that offer a fun lifestyle but might not be as expensive. Not only are salaries cheaper, office rent and other expectations are lower as well. (The only exception was New York, which was mostly on par with San Francisco according to the companies surveyed.)
The median home price in Seattle now: $700,000. As my wife commented the other day: “I don’t understand how someone who does not already own a home in a big city, will ever afford to own a home in a big city.” Which is also the problem of why talent isn’t leaving San Francisco. Because once you have a stable place to live in a city like that, should you leave, it is likely that you would have a lot of trouble affording to move back. A bit Hotel California-ish. It’s not likely to change unless everyone goes remote.