Amazon will let you bring your dog to work. Amazon likes to have good restaurants nearby. Meanwhile, there’s a plan to knit together Crystal City, Pentagon City, and the Arlington portion of Potomac Yard into a coherent downtown that’s bigger than Austin’s or Indianapolis’s.
All of this points toward a vision of the future that was far-fetched even a few years ago: Crystal City as a place people would want to remain in after 5 PM.
Perks like good food, hip amenities, and conveniences like dry cleaners and gyms are well-oiled trap mechanisms for employers. Employees are more likely to hand over even more of their time to their bosses if they don’t have to leave their workplace to get a snack or even take a nap. The fiction that you have to spend most of your life at work is already deeply rooted in Washington, and Amazon’s reported highly competitive workplace culture may not be well-positioned to dislodge it. (We should all take a note from Slack, which encourages employees to “Work hard and go home.”)
I don’t want to sound like I’m down on good stuff coming to Crystal City (I live nearby! One of my favorite bars is there!). If all these perks were to rejuvenate a woefully underused part of this region, that could be something to celebrate. But if they result in more people working all the time, that’s not much of a gain.