Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, says the company will allow many of its employees to work from home permanently — a move that highlights how the novel coronavirus pandemic has forced companies to embrace remote work.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, companies began juggling in-person service delivery alongside health priorities, with Twitter recently announcing a permanent work-from-home arrangement.

On Thursday, Zuckerberg spoke about his plans for Facebook, saying the company’s hiring of new employees would now focus on engaging remote workers amid changes in the future of work.

According to him, the world’s largest social network would start hiring experienced engineers within any city where its engineering office is situated.

He said a survey was conducted to that effect and that about 40 percent of Facebook’s employees opted for full-time remote work but more than 50 percent also chose to get back into their offices.

According to him, the vast majority of the company’s employees are, however, already working remotely and that will likely continue for months to come, at least for the rest of the year 2020.

The CEO also added that the company is expecting that about half its workforce would work remotely over the next five to 10 years.

“We’re going to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale,” said Zuckerberg, according to Verge.

“We need to do this in a way that’s thoughtful and responsible, so we’re going to do this in a measured way. But I think that it’s possible that over the next five to 10 years – maybe closer to 10 than five, but somewhere in that range – I think we could get to about half of the company working remotely permanently.”

Addressing problems pertaining to remote work for Facebook, which has more than 48,000 employees working in 70 offices worldwide, Zuckerberg said that options might be made available “in a measured way” for employees who still prefer the traditional setting.

“Eventually we want to enable many existing employees to become long term remote workers if they want, but we’re going to roll this out in a measured way so we can learn as we go,” he added.

“Having kids home from school has been tough for parents. People living on their own have struggled too. It can be hard to find a balance without a clear boundary between work and home.

“I’m also concerned about weaker social bonds between colleagues, especially new hires, and there’s an open question about whether groups of people are less creative when they’re not together. I think most of us would really like to just see one another in person again soon.

“Our priority is people who can’t productively do their work from home — those who work on hardware, some of our content reviewers, data center technicians, and other specialized roles.”


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