Facebook will adopt remote work on a permanent basis even after COVID-19 lockdowns end, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said earlier this week. In a May 21 announcement, he estimated that approximately half of the tech giant's 50,000 employees around the world will be permanently working outside the office within the next five to 10 years.
Like many other companies, Facebook will reopen its offices with significantly reduced occupancy. The reopening is scheduled to begin on July 6 and occupancy will be only 25 percent of pre-COVID numbers, according to a prior announcement. However, the reduced occupancy is going to be permanent. Starting this week, the company is making the majority of its US job openings eligible for remote hiring, and later this year will roll out a policy allowing employees to apply for permanent remote work arrangements. This means that many of the 10,000 product and engineering hires announced in April will potentially be remote hires/
"Being able to recruit more broadly, especially across the US and Canada to start with, is going to open up a lot of new talent that previously wouldn't have considered moving to a big city,” Zuckerberg said of this move. He also suggested that shifting the workforce to remote work is in line with Facebook's product strategy, in that it drives the adoption of Facebook's collaborative tools among its own employees .
Facebook is not the first tech company to embrace remote work on a long-term and permanent basis even after COVID-19, although it is one of the largest to date. Earlier this month, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told employees that they could work from home "forever" if they wish, and companies such as Shopify and Square have also allowed permanent remote work. What's more, even non-tech companies in such varied sectors as banking, insurance, and food are discussing the possibility of a permanent remote or hybrid model.