Facebook Shifting to Permanent Work-From-Home Status for Many Employees

Andrew Cummings
May 22, 2020

The shift could help remake the USA job market in tech, as Facebook now has more than 40,000 employees.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says his social network is working to prevent the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus. "When you limit hiring to people who either live in a small number of big cities or are willing to move there, that cuts out a lot of people who live in different communities, different backgrounds or may have different perspectives", said Zuckerberg.

He outlined steps Facebook will take to adapt operations to remote work for the long-term, saying it is quite possible that about half of the company's employees could doing their jobs that way within 10 years.

Zuckerberg sounded pretty sure in an interview with the BBC that the upcoming U.S. 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. According to him, about half of Facebook employees would work from home five to 10 years from now.

He said that there would be "severe ramifications" for employees that attempt to lie about where they are based in an attempt to boost salaries, with the company going as far as monitoring the IP addresses that people are logging in from.

The company will initially ramp up remote work for new and existing employees in the USA and Canada, focusing on experienced workers, especially senior engineers.

Trainees and staff in hardware, policy, sales, HR and legal affairs are still expected to report to the office, reported The Times.

Geographically, Facebook will start with areas close to its existing offices, including Portland, San Diego, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Zuckerberg said.

Mark Zuckerberg insists that Facebook is effectively fighting misinformation surrounding the upcoming USA elections and the coronavirus. The company is also looking to create new "hubs" with hundreds of remote workers in Atlanta, Dallas and Denver.

"These aren't necessarily offices", Zuckerberg said, although the company would probably create "some kind of physical space" to accompany them.

Facebook, like other Silicon Valley companies, was among the first USA employers to close offices in the early days of the pandemic.

Twitter announced on May 12 that employees who are remote working during the pandemic can do so permanently when offices reopen if they prefer.

Other reports by iNewsToday