Facebook (META -3.84%) is all in with maintaining a remote workforce once the COVID-19 pandemic is contained, saying on a Facebook Live stream in the next five to ten years half of its employees will be working from home.
As it stands, about 95% of Facebook employees are working remotely during the pandemic, with many planning to do so throughout 2020. Zuckerberg said that, given social distancing requirements and the reality that the pandemic doesn't completely go away anytime soon, Facebook only expects to have 25% capacity in its office initially. "A lot of us will be working remotely for some time to come," Zuckerberg said in the address to employees that was made public on Facebook. "Coming out of this period we expect remote work is going to be a growing trend as well."
Vowing to be the "most forward-leaning company on remote work," the tech stock CEO said Facebook is aggressively opening up remote hiring, acknowledging that it doesn't make sense to focus on bringing on employees near offices if they can't come to them anyway. "It's quite possible in the next five to ten years about 50% of our people could be working remotely," said the social media giant CEO.
Zuckerberg pointed to a survey of Facebook employees that found about half said they are productive working remotely while 40% said they were at least somewhat interested in doing so full-time. In order to work at home Facebook employees have to be experienced, have a strong performance track record, and be part of a group that can do their job functions outside of the office. Recent graduates won't be able to work remotely, Zuckerberg noted.
There is a catch. Employees' salaries will be adjusted based on where they are located. That means a person living in New York or San Francisco who moves to Iowa will likely see a pay cut due to the lower cost of living. Facebook does have a COVID-19 grace period in effect, but that gets lifted January 1, 2021.