Facebook Wants Remote Working to Become Permanent

An employee bus at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park California where the company is giving staffers working remotely until 2021 to update the company on where they plan to base themselves so salaries can adjust to local costs of living [File Elijah

More than 95% of Facebook's staff are now working from home due to Covid-19 and will be able to keep their current salary until January 1 in the USA, after which employees will need to declare their location so that it can be adjusted.

Half of Facebook's workforce could shift to permanent home working by the end of the decade, founder Mark Zuckerberg has revealed.

Zuckerberg said Facebook will monitor adherence by checking where employees access its VPN.

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

Facebook had previously said it plans to start opening most of its offices on July 6 while also saying employees who can work remotely will have that option through the end of the year.

While Spotify's announcement is not quite as radical, it will still see the company's entire employee base work from home for at least the next seven months, suggesting the firm is well equipped to offer flexible arrangements on a permanent basis. This trend could potentially affect the costly housing markets in California and NY, where most of the Facebook's full-time employees in the USA are based.

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In the interim, elected officials will await guidance from the state, and the assessment of local doctors and scientists. County officials said Tuesday that they have set a goal of reopening restaurants, retail stores and malls by July 4.

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

"Enabling remote work is going to be very positive on that front, creating more broad-based economic prosperity", said Zuckerberg.

The news is another sign work-from-home policies may be here to stay for the internet industry, which continues to operate despite COVID-19. But according to Zuckerberg, productivity remains up for more than half of the company's workers.

"Eventually we want to enable many existing employees to become long term remote workers if they want". The company will begin by focusing on hiring for advanced engineering positions, Zuckerberg said. "Certainly being able to recruit more broadly across the United States 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.

"That means if you live in a location where the cost of living is dramatically lower, or the cost of labor is lower, then salaries do tend to be somewhat lower in those places", Zuckerberg said. Four in ten said they were extremely, very or somewhat interested in full-time remote work, and among that subset, 75% said they would consider moving to a different city if they could work remotely. It'll also involve addressing certain challenges, like ensuring remote workers don't lose out on career advancement.

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