Facebook Wants Remote Working to Become Permanent

Daniel Fowler
May 23, 2020

Currently, most Facebook workers can opt to work from home through the end of the year, thanks to the pandemic.

Zuckerberg shared the video broadcast on Facebook publicly, saying in a post, "This meeting is normally for employees only, but I wanted to share it externally in case our research or approach is helpful to other organizations thinking about what the future of work looks like".

"Countries are going to continue to try and interfere and we are going to see issues like that, but we have learnt a lot since 2016 and I feel pretty confident that we are going to be able to protect the integrity of the upcoming election", Zuckerberg said.

Prior to the pandemic, the focus of big US tech companies had been to have all employees working together at huge headquarters, some including Facebook, offering employees bonuses to live nearby.

In an interview with The Verge, Zuckerberg said that Facebook is aiming to be the "most forward-leaning company on remote work" at its scale.

For many of Facebook's 45,000 employees, life will never be the same as it was before the pandemic.

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Facebook says as many as 50 percent of the company's workforce could end up permanently working from home during the coming decade.

Mr Zuckerberg was interacting with his employees through a Facebook livestream on Thursday that suddenly disconnected after just under an hour. A recent survey of San Francisco Bay Area tech workers found two-thirds would consider moving away from the pricey area if they could work remotely. Facebook said the disruption was only to viewers outside the company and Mr. Zuckerberg was almost done. The company will begin by focusing on hiring for advanced engineering positions, Zuckerberg said. "Creating opportunities beyond these cities could also be part of the economic recovery", said Mr Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg's surprise announcement - which followed Twitter's announcement earlier this month that employees would eventually be allowed to work from home indefinitely - will eventually be a "win win" for workers and employers alike, according to one expert. Whereas, Cupertino-based Apple is bringing back its staff to stores in different phases after it shut down its retail operations amid the virus outbreak. The Canadian e-commerce business said that its offices will be closed until 2021 and most employees will be allowed to work remotely on a permanent basis after that.

"Eventually we want to enable many existing employees to become long term remote workers if they want".

The service will allow businesses - irrespective of size and budget - to list and sell products directly to consumers across Facebook's apps for free.

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