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Facebook Shifting to Permanent Work-From-Home Status for Many Employees

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Some Facebook employees will never go back to the social giant’s offices on a permanent basis.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in an internal town-hall livestream Thursday, said that many of Facebook employees will be allowed to work from home permanently even after the coronavirus crisis ends. He projected that around 50% of the company’s workforce could be remote in the next 5-10 years.

“I think we’re going to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work, at our scale for sure,” Zuckerberg said. “But we’re going to do this in a way that is measured and thoughtful and responsible, and in phases over time.”

That said, some Facebook employees who opt to work remotely and move may face pay cuts, he said. Staffers will have their salary adjusted based on the cost of living standards in their location for tax and accounting reasons, according to Zuckerberg.

The point of the new approach is for employees to be able to do their work better — not simply “because this is a thing employees have asked for,” Zuckerberg said. He noted that when Facebook staffers quit the company, it’s sometimes because they are moving to an area where the company doesn’t have an office location.

Facebook’s new approach to remote work comes after Twitter earlier this month said employees will be able to work from home for good, if they choose to and if their roles permit.

According to the Zuckerberg, Facebook will begin “aggressively” opening up remote hiring. The permanent work-from-home moves will start with senior engineers, followed by new hires being offered the WFH option and then current employees with good performance reviews. Employees who opt to work remotely must notify Facebook by Jan. 1, 2021, of their WFH locations.

In addition, Facebook plans to establish new hubs in Atlanta, Dallas and Denver for remote workers to have face-to-face meetings.

Zuckerberg shared the video broadcast on Facebook publicly, saying in a post, “This meeting is normally for employees only, but I wanted to share it externally in case our research or approach is helpful to other organizations thinking about what the future of work looks like.”

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.

At Facebook, more than 95% of full-time employees have been working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Facebook ended the first quarter of 2020 with more than 48,000 full-time workers. Zuckerberg reiterated on the call that the company plans to hire at least 10,000 more staffers in product and engineering roles in 2020.

Last month Zuckerberg said Facebook canceled all large, in-person events through June 2021.