Facebook’s integrated campus: What are the implications for its employees?

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An integrated campus could mean less family time for employees. Or, could it?

Facebook plans to create an integrated campus which will have 125,000 square feet of new retail space, including a grocery store, pharmacy and additional community-facing retail along with the workspace. The social networking company plans to redevelop the former Menlo Science & Technology Park and call it Willow Campus.

What will it mean for the employees?

It is believed that the ideal commuting time between the workspace and the residence is 30 minutes to enable one to switch one’s mind between home and work. Otherwise, the problems of one tend to  affect the other. An integrated campus could also mean longer working hours for employees.

Employees also need to meet the outside world for freshness. Staying in the same campus will mean complete alienation from the outside world. After all, personal time for family, friends and recreational activities outside work is an integral component of happiness. Having a separate place to call home, to do shopping and hang out with friends beyond co-workers is essential to get relieved from the stress of work. Besides, what happens to work-life balance?

Facebook believes that employees will get more convenience in the new integrated system which will have about 1,500 housing units. But whether its employees want convenience or peace of mind is another debate altogether.

While one may argue that working and living in the same campus will mean saving on commuting time and thus result in an increase in family time, it is also true that such an arrangement could result in longer working hours, which is certainly not a very healthy practice.

Many experts feel that if everything is done for the employee by the company in an all-encompassing way, they are bound to feel less autonomous.

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