Mark Zuckerberg is shifting Facebook Inc. toward a substantially remote workforce over the next decade, permanently reconfiguring the tech giant’s operations around the dispersed structure that the coronavirus pandemic forced on it.

The plan, which the Facebook chief executive laid out in detail to employees in livestreamed remarks on Thursday, is one of the highest-profile examples of business leaders committing to extend the practices their companies quickly embraced to adjust to the crisis. On matters from workplace to strategy, managers are rethinking what works and shifting course, sometimes long term.

The remote-work changes for new hires will roll out initially in the U.S. and apply only to senior engineers at first. With individual team leaders’ approval, new recruits will be offered the choice to work from home, and current employees around the world with strong performance reviews will be able to apply to do so. In time, the policy will be extended to employees outside Facebook’s engineering department.

Currently, 95% of Facebook’s employees are working remotely, Zuckerberg said. A survey conducted by Facebook found that 50% of employees said they were as productive working from home as they were at the office, Zuckerberg said. Among Facebook employees, 40% said they were extremely, very or somewhat interested in full-time remote work, and among that subset of employees, 75% said they were either pretty confident or they might move to a different city if they could work remotely, Zuckerberg said.

“It’s somewhat of an unfortunate and unsustainable setup for people to have a lot of these jobs they have to move to a small number of big cities,” Zuckerberg said.  To start, Facebook will allow existing employees to request permanent remote work if they meet specific criteria. This includes experienced employees, those with strong recent performance, employees on teams that support remote work and employees who get approval from their group leaders, Zuckerberg said. This will not include employees who are recent graduates, he said.

Facebook is the latest company to announce a decision to continue supporting remote work. This follows similar decisions by companies like Twitter, Square, and Shopify.

Todd Horwitz Chief Strategist BubbaTrading.com
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