Rachel Sandler Forbes Staff
CEO Mark Zuckerberg anticipates that half of Facebook’s workforce will permanently work from home by 2030 as the company gradually shifts to allow for permanent remote work, Zuckerberg announced Thursday, signaling how the coronavirus pandemic is beginning to fundamentally change how we work.
Most new hires will be eligible for permanent remote work beginning Thursday.
Later this year, engineers will be able to apply to work from home permanently, according to the Wall Street Journal, and eventually workers in other departments will also be able to do so.
The change will be gradual, with Zuckerberg saying he expects half of the company’s workforce to be remote in ten years.
Facebook was among the first companies to announce earlier this month that employees could work from home until the end of 2020 and cancel in-person events with more than 50 people until 2021.
Facebook’s Menlo Park offices will open on July 6 for employees who need to come into the office, but will only operate at 25% capacity.
The move could reduce Facebook’s footprint in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the company is headquartered, as employees may choose to relocate to a region with a cheaper cost of living. (Though Zuckerberg said employees who do this may face a pay cut.)
“There’s a meaningful contrast between what we’re doing and what some other companies are doing,” Zuckerberg said in an interview with NBC News. “This isn’t a free-for-all. We’re aggressively opening up remote hiring, then . . . starting a process where some people, in a phased way, can apply to work remotely.»
48,000. That’s how many employees Facebook has across more than 70 offices worldwide.
Silicon Valley tech companies are among the first major businesses to make remote work a reality postpandemic. Twitter, Square and Shopify have all announced in recent weeks that employees will allow most employees to telework permanently after the pandemic.
Many of the largest companies in the U.S. have expressed a willingness to let employees work from home until September or even until the end of the year—though it’s unclear if they will make permanent changes like Facebook and Twitter. When and if employees do return to the office, the physical space will certainly look different, at least until there’s a Covid-19 vaccine. Offices may have barriers, require social distancing and mandate temperature checks for anyone entering the building.