Media Moves

Facebook makes remote work permanent

May 22, 2020

Posted by Irina Slav

Facebook is making remote work a permanent fixture, expecting half of its employees to work remotely in 10 years.

Emily Bary from MarketWatch reported:

Facebook Inc. FB, +0.61% Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg expects that as much as half of Facebook’s workforce will work from home within 10 years, according to The Wall Street Journal, which conducted an interview with Zuckerberg before he outlined a plan to employees about the future of the company’s remote-work policies. The Wall Street Journal story said that Facebook will initially make changes to remote-work policies for senior engineers in the U.S. before eventually extending the policies beyond the engineering team. With the approval of team leaders, new hires will be able to work from home and existing employees with strong performance reviews will be able to apply for the opportunity to work from home. The COVID-19 crisis made many companies quickly adjust to remote work for nearly their entire employee bases and numerous companies have joined Facebook in saying that they’ll extend the flexibility in a large capacity even after the crisis subsides.

Kate Conger from the New York Times wrote:

Facebook’s decision, the first among tech’s biggest companies, is a stark change for a business culture built around getting workers into giant offices and keeping them there. Using free shuttle buses, free cafeterias and personal services like dry cleaning, tech companies have done as much as possible over the years to give employees little reason to go home, let alone avoid the office.

If other giant companies follow suit, tech employment could start to shift away from expensive hubs like Silicon Valley, Seattle and New York. The option to work from home could also provide more reason for tech workers who complain that their enviable salaries still aren’t enough to buy a home in San Francisco or San Jose to consider settling in other parts of the country.

Reuters’ Katie Paul reported:

The move is the most significant yet by a tech giant to reimagine what work culture will look like in a post-coronavirus world, as the pandemic upends office and commuting habits for companies around the world.

It follows similar announcements earlier this month by social media rival Twitter and payments company Square, both led by Jack Dorsey, which were the first tech companies to permit remote work indefinitely.

But Facebook is a much larger company, with nearly 50,000 employees, and it went further in laying out a novel proposed structure for remote work. Its decision is likely to have a pronounced impact on the San Francisco area, where the tech sector’s rapid growth has strained regional infrastructure.


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