Facebook employees can work from home permanently, says Mark Zuckerberg

Andrew Cummings
May 23, 2020

"I think we're going to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work, at our scale for sure", Zuckerberg said.

He emphasised that the 50 per cent figure was his estimate and not an official announcement.

The social network's chief set out his vision to employees on Thursday, prompted by the current coronavirus crisis which has forced companies across the globe to embrace remote working in recent months.

However, 40 per cent said this would not be practical due to the nature of their jobs.

Other social media giants Google have have allowed most employees to work remotely until the end of the year. A second priority will be to create newer "hubs" of employees in areas where Facebook now has less of a presence - beginning with Atlanta, Dallas and Denver, he said.

Facebook had expanded its Menlo Park headquarters with a huge hangar-style campus built by star architect Frank Gehry.

Zuckerberg sounded pretty sure in an interview with the BBC that the upcoming USA election will see attempts at interference, but said his company has learned a lot over the past four years, after an alleged army of Russian trolls was suspected of coordinated action on Facebook against Democratic Party candidate Hilary Clinton.

Business will begin with limited workforces and a survey has found employees' productivity while working from home dropped by only one per cent. But according to Zuckerberg, productivity remains up for more than half of the company's workers.

On the same day, two other tech players announced plans to extend their remote work policies.

"Eventually we want to enable many existing employees to become long term remote workers if they want". The CEO says the the move "is going to open up a lot of new talent that previously wouldn't have considered moving to a big city", the Washington Post reports.

And those who choose to work where the cost of living is less should expect to be paid less. "If you live in a location where cost of living is dramatically lower, cost of labour is lower, salaries tend to be somewhat lower in those places, even though you can have a better quality of life than some of the bigger cities". Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke announced that the days of "office centricity" are now over, while Spotify told employees that they can work from home until 2021.

"We need to do this in a way that's thoughtful and responsible so we're going to do this in a measured way". It'll also involve addressing certain challenges, like ensuring remote workers don't lose out on career advancement.

Other reports by iNewsToday