According to Facebook, up to 50 percent of the company’s employees could work permanently from home for the next decade.
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg made a prediction on Thursday that Facebook will allow more employees to work remotely on a permanent basis. “I think we’re going to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale, for sure,” he said in a live broadcast.
The news is another sign that work-from-home policies can be applied to the Internet industry, which is still active despite COVID-19. Both Twitter and Shopify have now decided to allow some employees to work permanently remotely.
Most of the company’s 50,000 employees have been working remotely since March. Initially, the company feared that the pandemic would disrupt social networks. However, according to Zuckerberg, productivity remains up with more than half of the company’s employees. At the same time, employees were able to avoid long office trips and spend more time on their private lives or office projects.
Zuckerberg continued that as many as 40 percents of current Facebook employees are “very interested” or “somewhat interested” in working permanently from home, citing an internal survey. He also noted that moving to remote work would give Facebook a better grip on employees who want to move out of Silicon Valley.
The company also sees the benefits of hiring. “Certainly being able to recruit more broadly across the US and Canada to start is going to open up a lot of new talent that previously wouldn’t consider moving to a big city,” he added.
However, remote working has a potential disadvantage for employees. Facebook says it will lower the wages of workers who move out of a city with a high cost of living. “As has been our policy for a number of years, your salary will be adjusted if you change location” Zuckerberg said in a live stream.
The effort to enable current employees to work permanently remotely will continue in the coming years. This also includes overcoming certain challenges, such as ensuring that remote workers do not lose career advancement. “Over the next 5 to 10 years, I think we could have 50 percent of our people working remotely, but we’re going to get there in a measured way,” he added in a separate post.
According to an internal survey, Facebook’s CEO also admitted that another 50 percent of Facebook’s employees want to be back in their office as soon as possible. However, in the short term, Zuckerberg said he did not expect this to be possible. The company reopening offices in July, but only at a capacity of 25 percent.
“Our priority is people who can’t productively do their work from home — those who work on hardware, some of our content reviewers, data center technicians, and other specialized roles,” he said. In the meantime, the remaining employees will still have the opportunity to continue working remotely until the end of the year.