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Facebook Inc. said it will let all employees work remotely even after the pandemic if their jobs can be done out of an office, but may reduce their pay if they move to a less-expensive area.
Starting June 15, any Facebook employee can request to work from home, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Wednesday in a statement. If those employees move to a lower-cost region, their salaries will be adjusted accordingly and they will be encouraged to go into the office at times to enhance team building.
Facebook said it will be more flexible for employees expected to return to the office. “Guidance is to be in the office at least half the time,” the company said. Facebook also plans to open most of its U.S. offices to at least 50 per cent capacity by early September and reopen fully in October. Until the end of 2021, employees can work as many as 20 business days from another location away from their home area, the company said.
The social network had more than 60,000 workers as of March 31, according to regulatory filings. Employees have been able to work remotely since offices were closed at the beginning of the pandemic last year.
Facebook also is expanding the number of workers who are allowed to move to other countries. Later this month, any employee will be able to move from the U.S. to Canada or from Europe, the Middle East or Africa to anywhere in the U.K., according to the company. Previously, only employees in technical or recruiting roles were allowed to take advantage of this option. By January 2022, Facebook employees will be allowed to permanently move between seven more countries in Europe, the Middle East or Africa.
Other tech companies also are grappling with how to retain employees who have enjoyed the freedom of remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. VMware Inc. is letting its employees become permanent remote workers, but they, too, will receive a pay cut if they move from Silicon Valley. Twitter Inc. and Square Inc., both run by Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey, have also announced that their employees can work from home permanently.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last year that he believes remote workers could make up as much as 50 per cent of the company’s workforce in the next five to 10 years.
“We and a lot of other folks were very worried that productivity was going to really fall off a cliff,” Zuckerberg told Bloomberg News. “It just hasn’t. We are at least as productive as we were before, and some people report being even more productive.”