During a town hall meeting with its employees on March 21, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook, announced his plans to start hiring remote workers by July. The hiring plan is aimed at areas where the American social media and technology company doesn’t have an office.
The existing workers who are already working remotely, can continue to do so till they want to.
The social network, which closed its offices in Menlo Park, California, in early March, due to the coronavirus outbreak, has already told employees that they can work from home through the end of the year.
Zuckerberg said, “The Company plans to aggressively open up remote hiring starting immediately with the US, particularly for engineering talent. The remote workers may make up as much as 50 per cent of the Company’s workforce in the next five to 10 years.”
Remote hiring, according to Zuckerberg, comes with several benefits, such as an extended talent pool, as well as increased racial, ethnic and ideological diversity of the workforce.
Initially, there were assumptions of less productivity associated with remote working, which eventually turned out to be false. While the productivity has definitely not been affected, Zuckerbeg shared that some people reported being more productive than before.
Since a significant number of employees are already working remotely, Facebook sees no sense in restricting its hiring to only those people who reside close to the offices, especially when the offices are not open.
However, there will be certain changes in the salary structures for remote workers. Employees who wish to work remotely, will be paid based on their new location. If they move to areas with a lower cost of living than the Bay Area, they would likely have to take a pay cut.
Also, remote employees who want to extend their remote work plans beyond the end of this year will need to alert the social networking company for tax and payroll purposes.
On January 1, everyone’s computer will be localised. Therefore, by the end of the year, all the employees will be required to return to the Bay Area or share their location.
Along with Twitter and Square Inc., Facebook is the latest, and probably the largest tech company to announce a full or partial move towards permanent remote working, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Facebook had more than 48,000 global staff at the end of March.
Earlier this week, Canadian e-commerce company, Shopify Inc, allowed its 5,000 employees to work from home indefinitely.