In a gesture that illustrates the speed with which the COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping the global economy, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced last Thursday that the company would adopt a telework culture. Indeed, it offers a permanent telework option to many of its current employees. “Over the next 5 to 10 years, I think we could have 50% of our employees working remotely, but we will get there in a measured way. I think Facebook will be the most forward-looking telecommuting company on our scale, and we’ve been working on a thoughtful and responsible plan to get there.Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook.
As part of this goal, Facebook to focus on remote recruitment. Zuckerberg says Facebook will hire experienced engineers within 4 hours of a city with a Facebook engineering office. This includes regions such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland and San Diego. The company will also set up new hubs in Atlanta, Dallas and Denver.
According to Zuckerberg, more than half of Facebook employees are as productive as they were before the coronavirus pandemic. He says about 40% of employees are interested in full-time telework. Among these employees, 75% are ready to change their workplace.
In the short term, the transition from Facebook to telework has become necessary. When the company begins reopening some of its offices on July 6, it plans to reduce the occupancy rate to 25 percent of normal, the company said. And, the additional security requirements for entering offices, which include mandatory masks and temperature controls, are likely to keep many workers away for much longer.
But after interviewing employees and speaking with leaders of other companies that use telework, Zuckerberg said he was convinced of the benefits of a more distributed workforce. This development will therefore open up jobs on Facebook to a larger number of applicants, and could have a positive effect on the environment.
Big business options
That said, there is a catch in the company’s telework system: the salary. As CNBC indicates, salaries will be adjusted according to the cost of living in the employee’s region. “We will adjust the salary based on your workplace at that time. There will be serious consequences for people who are not honest about it“, did he declare.
Facebook, which has more than 48,000 employees in 70 offices around the world, is the largest company to have taken an aggressive approach to telework in the wake of the pandemic. But, Facebook is not the only company to have implemented telework options. Google announced earlier this month that the company will offer a telework option for the remainder of 2020, and Twitter also wants to implement telework for life for some of its employees.