Facebook employees can request to work from home permanently

From June 15, any worker can request to work remotely but the company could reduce salaries if they shift to cheaper locations

Facebook said all employees can request to work from home full-time if it does not hamper their work, even after the Covid-19 pandemic is over.

From June 15, all employees can request to work from home permanently, but the company could lower their salaries if they shift to a less-expensive location, Facebook said on Wednesday.

"We believe how we work is more important than where we work,” the company said in a statement.

“We want to be the place where people can do the best work of their careers while ensuring a consistent experience for employees no matter where they are located.”

Earlier, only employees at a certain level of seniority could request a remote work arrangement.

Facebook said it aims to open most of its US offices with 50 per cent capacity by September. Work schedules for employees returning to the office will remain flexible, it added.

The decision is in line with chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement last year that Facebook will allow more employees to work from home permanently, and expects nearly 50 per cent of its 48,000 staff to take up this option in the next five to 10 years.

"We are going to get there in a measured way," Mr Zuckerberg said at the time, adding Facebook will "advance future technologies" that ease remote working and allow it to "access talent pools outside of traditional tech hubs in big cities".

“Facebook will be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale … we have been working on a thoughtful and responsible plan to do this,” he added.

Currently, the majority of Facebook employees are already working remotely.

In one of the Facebook’s internal surveys, more than half of employees said they are at least as productive as they are in the office. About 40 per cent said they are interested in full-time remote work.

Other tech giants such as Google and Microsoft have also offered hybrid work options to their employees, while Twitter has already allowed its employees to work from home permanently.

Last week, Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook said employees will return to the office three days a week from September, leading to a number of staff to write an internal letter criticising the decision.

There is a "growing concern among colleagues that Apple's remote/location-flexible work policy, and the communication around it, have already forced some of our colleagues to quit", Apple employees wrote in the letter provided to The Verge.

"Without the inclusivity that flexibility brings, many of us feel we have to choose between either a combination of our families, our well-being and being empowered to do our best work, or being a part of Apple,” they added.