- Facebook is letting its employees request to permanently work from home.
- A wide swath of its workforce can work from home forever.
- The company is also going to “aggressively” start hiring remote employees
Facebook is letting its employees request to permanently work from home. As thousands of businesses across the United States are still trying to figure out their office reopening plans, Facebook announced a drastic shift, A wide swath of its workforce can work from home forever.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a livestream on his personal page on Thursday that he guesses as much as 50 percent of the company’s 45,000-person workforce could be working entirely remotely in the next five to 10 years.
While Zuckerberg cautioned that the number is not necessarily a target, it’s a tangible estimate by the leader of one of the most important companies in the world about the future of work, impacting not only his company but the norms for post-pandemic office workers as a whole.
The move comes shortly after Facebook’s rival Twitter announced it will allow its entire workforce to permanently work remotely, along with other tech companies like Shopify and Coinbase.
“The reality is that I don’t think it’s going to be that we wake up one day on January first and nobody has any more concerns about this,” said Zuckerberg on the livestream about the lasting impact of Covid-19 on office employees. Zuckerberg went on to lay out immediate and gradual shifts the company will be making to how it manages and hires new workers.
In the short-term, as Facebook starts reopening its offices (right now, he said 95 percent of employees are working from home and will do so until at least January 1, 2021), the company will operate at 25 percent capacity in its buildings. Starting now, some Facebook employees can start requesting to permanently work from home.
The first group of employees who will be able to do so is senior-level ones with a history of strong performance reviews. According to an internal survey the company ran, between 40 and 60 percent of employees are interested in doing so. And half the company reported being at least as productive as they were before, even when working from home.
The company is also going to “aggressively” start hiring remote employees since they won’t be as tied to physical office space particularly for senior-level personnel who don’t need as much in-person training or career development.
Instead of focusing on hiring only in tech’s de facto capital of Silicon Valley, the company will put more effort into other metro regions like Atlanta, Dallas, and Denver. And it’s rethinking how to provide new benefits to its remote employees since some of the old perks, like free gourmet cafeteria food onsite, don’t make as much sense. Instead, remote employees may need better laptops and monitors, stronger internet connections, and equipment for audio and visual livestreaming.