Facebook employees will be able to work from home forever


Zuckerberg’s is an epochal announcement for the Menlo Park company: from today Facebook has made its hires available also for remote positions and during the year many of the 48,000 employees may request to working from home for an indefinite time. Within the next 10 years, Zuckerberg explains, Facebook could turn into a company characterized by a mainly remote workforce. A total change in corporate policy: to date Facebook paid new hires a $ 15,000 bonus if they lived or moved near the Menlo Park offices.

“We will be the company that will drive this transformation remotely,” explained Zuckerberg during an interview with The Verge. “We have to do it in a way that is reasoned and responsible, so we will do it with caution. But I think it is possible that in the next 10 years half of our workforce can work permanently from home.” With his 48,000 employees in 70 offices around the world, Facebook is the largest company to sign up to smart working so aggressively during this pandemic. A position shared by other realities, such as Twitter and Coinbase.

To understand how epoch-making this change is, we need to understand how important the concept of proximity is to Silicon Valley. The whole ecosystem of startups and technological giants is based on the idea of ​​working closely with colleagues, on living in campus who offer everything and who try to “incorporate” employees even outside working hours and on the general belief that sharing common spaces contributes to a better job. To date, Facebook has provided a $ 15,000 bonus if new employees agree to live less than 10 miles from the offices. But now everything will change.

The company will begin reopening its offices on July 6, maintaining a space occupancy level of approximately 25 percent. In this case, remote work will be a necessity, because not all employees will be able to go to the office. But in the past few weeks Zuckerberg seems to have been persuaded by the benefits of a workforce distributed throughout the territory and not concentrated only in corporate offices; in this way the social network can also reach a huge new number of potential employees who were previously excluded from the selections because they were unable to go to the office.

“I think the experience of working remotely has been more positive than we expected,” said Zuckerberg. “I think there is a practical element, that is that people will not be able to go back to the office for a while. Even with the social distancing, we think the offices will have a density of around 25 percent. So, since people will have to stay home for a while, I think we will have to get good at it. “But who can decide to work remotely? The CEO explains that those who have experience, an important role in the company, good performance and he is part of a team that can support remote work, then he can work from home.

The reason is simple. “The youngest have never worked in a company and need to learn how to work in a reality like this,” explains Zuckerberg. “Unlike many other companies, we hire many boys and girls who have just left college, so they have no experience. It is part of our strategy and we will continue to do it.” Clearly the move also has potential risks, linked above all precisely to that idea of ​​collaborative work from which the best ideas were born. In this, the “campus” approach is fundamental: it remains to be seen whether with remote work, companies will be able to remain just as creative despite not having physical sharing spaces. And Zuckerberg? The founder explained that he will probably prefer to work from home more often than ever before. “I think I spend more time remotely,” he concluded.

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