Facebook said it will keep all employees working remotely even after the pandemic if their jobs can be done from an office, but it could cut their wages if they move to a cheaper area.
Any Facebook employee can now request to work from home, the Menlo Park, California-based company said in a statement. When these employees move to a cheaper area, their salaries are adjusted accordingly and they are encouraged to go to the office temporarily to improve team building.
Facebook said it was more flexible for employees who are expected to return to the office. “The leadership should be in the office at least half the time,” said the company. Facebook also plans to open most of its US offices to at least 50% capacity by early September and fully reopen in October. The company announced that employees can work from another location outside of their home area for up to 20 working days until the end of 2021.
According to official documents, the social network had more than 60,000 employees as of March 31. Employees have been able to work remotely since offices closed at the beginning of the pandemic last year.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last year that he believes teleworkers could make up as much as 50% of the company’s workforce in the next five to ten years.
“As part of my remote and hybrid work commitment, I plan to work remotely by halfway through next year,” Zuckerberg told his employees this month. “I’ve found that working remotely has given me more room for long-term thinking and has helped me spend more time with my family, which has made me happier and more productive at work.
“I will also be in the office a lot and structure my schedule to keep a good rhythm with our leadership team as well as for planning and other important milestones,” added Zuckerberg. “I look forward to seeing many of you in our offices again soon.”
Facebook is also expanding the number of employees who are allowed to emigrate to other countries. Later this month, any employee can move from the US to Canada or from Europe, the Middle East or Africa to anywhere in the UK, according to the company. Previously, only employees in technical or recruiting roles were allowed to make use of this option. Until January 2022, Facebook employees can move permanently between seven other countries in Europe, the Middle East or Africa.
Other tech companies are also making efforts to retain employees who enjoyed the freedom to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. VMware Inc. lets its employees become permanent remote workers, but they too will receive a pay cut if they move out of Silicon Valley. Twitter and Square, both led by Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey, have announced that their employees will be able to work from home permanently.
This story was originally published on Bloomberg.com. Read it here.