Mark Zuckerberg


James Martin

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday that employees will have the option to work from home permanently, a move that highlights how the the novel coronavirus has fueled a shift to remote work for some of the world’s largest tech companies.

In an internal employee town hall meeting livestreamed on Facebook, Zuckerberg said the company is going to aggressively open up remote hiring, coupled with a “more measured approach to opening permanent remote work for existing employees.”

Over the next five to 10 years, about half of Facebook’s workers could be remote, Zuckerberg said, adding there are “a lot of nuances” as to how the process would roll out.

Zuckerberg’s remarks come as other tech companies, including Twitter, Square and Shopify, unveil permanent work-from-home policies. It provides a glimpse into how other major tech companies could change working conditions for employees. 

Facebook had said previously that those who can do their work remotely will be able to do so through the end of 2020. The company doesn’t plan to reopen most of its offices until July 6 at the earliest and will require workers to check their temperature, wear face masks and practice social distancing. Facebook, which has offices throughout the world and its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, will limit workplace capacity to 25%, Bloomberg reported this week. 

Some Facebook employees can’t work remotely. That includes certain engineers, as well as content reviewers who review counter-terrorism or suicide and self-harm prevention content.

As of March, Facebook had more than 48,200 workers worldwide. Zuckerberg said in April during the company’s quarterly earnings call that Facebook plans to hire 10,000 people in product and engineering roles this year.

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