Facebook is planning to do permanent WFH, salaries will be based on employees' locations

Zuckerberg has said that within a decade as many as half of the company’s employees would work from home.

Facebook allows employees work from home permanently
By Kate Conger

OAKLAND: Facebook said Thursday that it would allow many employees to work from home permanently. But there’s a catch: They may not be able to keep their big Silicon Valley salaries in more affordable parts of the country.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, told workers during a staff meeting that was livestreamed on his Facebook page that within a decade as many as half of the company’s more than 48,000 employees would work from home.


“It’s clear that Covid has changed a lot about our lives, and that certainly includes the way that most of us work,” Zuckerberg said. “Coming out of this period, I expect that remote work is going to be a growing trend as well.”

Facebook’s decision, the first among tech’s biggest companies, is a stark change for a business culture built around getting workers into giant offices and keeping them there. Using free shuttle buses, free cafeterias and personal services like dry cleaning, tech companies have done as much as possible over the years to give employees little reason to go home, let alone avoid the office.

If other giant companies follow suit, tech employment could start to shift away from expensive hubs like Silicon Valley, Seattle and New York. The option to work from home could also provide more reason for tech workers who complain that their enviable salaries still aren’t enough to buy a home in San Francisco or San Jose to consider settling in other parts of the country.
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Zuckerberg’s announcement followed similar decisions at Twitter and the payments company Square, both led by Jack Dorsey. Dorsey said last week that employees at his companies would be allowed to work from home indefinitely. At Google, employees have been told they can work from home through the end of the year, but the company has not made any indications about permanent plans.

There are signs that remote work is popular among technologists. After Dorsey’s announcement, Google searches for “Twitter jobs” spiked, according to Google Trends.


Aaron Levie, the chief executive of the business technology company Box, wrote on Twitter that “the push happening around remote work is as game-changing for the future of tech as the launch of the iPhone” more than a decade ago.

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Tech executives have long believed that person-to-person communication was a big part of the creativity that went into generating popular products. They built giant campuses that reflected that belief, from the ornate offices of Apple, Google and Facebook in Silicon Valley to the new Amazon headquarters in Seattle.

Still, the biggest tech companies were trying to expand beyond their main offices before the pandemic, as an older generation of companies like Intel had done. Amazon, for example, intends to open a second headquarters in Virginia. The coronavirus pandemic could accelerate those plans.

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“Before the virus happened, a lot of the discussion about the tech sector was about how to bring people to work sites and create affordable housing,” said Robert Silverman, a professor of urban and regional planning at the State University of New York at Buffalo. “This is kind of a natural progression.”

An employee exodus from the biggest urban tech hubs, combined with layoffs, could have dramatic local impacts. Housing costs in the Bay Area, for example, have fallen since the pandemic began, according to the rental firm Zumper. Rents in San Francisco fell 7% in April, and were down 15% in Menlo Park, Facebook’s home.

Zuckerberg long worried that employees who worked remotely would lose productivity. Facebook once provided cash bonuses to employees who lived within 10 miles of its headquarters. In 2018, Facebook expanded its main campus with elaborate new offices designed by Frank Gehry, including a 3.6-acre roof garden with more than 200 trees.

Just last year, Facebook started moving into a 43-story office tower that it had leased in San Francisco, and the company is still reportedly in talks for a significant office expansion in New York, as well.

In March, the coronavirus lockdown forced companies to send employees home. Many tech companies, including Facebook, emptied their offices before local shelter-in-place orders.

Now, more than two months later, executives are discovering that their remote workers performed better than expected. Zuckerberg said employees remained focused even though they were working from home.

Facebook will begin by allowing new hires who are senior engineers to work remotely, and then allow current employees to apply for permission to work from home if they have positive performance reviews.

Starting in January, Facebook’s employee compensation will be adjusted based on the cost of living in the locations where workers choose to live. Facebook will make sure employees are honest about their location by checking where they log in to internal systems from, he said.

Zuckerberg said the shift could offer more benefits than inconveniences for the company. Allowing remote work will allow Facebook to broaden its recruitment, retain valuable employees, reduce the climate impact caused by commutes and expand the diversity of its work force, Zuckerberg said.

So far, Facebook, Square and Twitter are being far more aggressive than their counterparts in the industry. Their work is mostly done in software code, which can be handled remotely.

At Apple, on the other hand, many employees are hardware engineers who need to be in the company’s lab, particularly because of the company’s secrecy around its products. Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said in April that the company’s main office in Silicon Valley would be closed until at least June and has not updated that timeline.

Startups could also find it difficult to manage a remote work force. Allowing workers to live in the Midwest could keep costs down, but Silicon Valley has a giant talent pool from which startups draw their workers. Also, many venture capitalists, mostly based in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, expect the companies they invest in to be based nearby.

At Los Angeles-based Snap, the maker of Snapchat, employees are allowed to work at home through September. Evan Spiegel, Snap’s chief executive, said in an interview that he was reassessing the situation regularly and considering guidance from health authorities about when to reopen.

“People want certainty, and there’s a huge amount of pressure as a leader to make definitive statements,” Spiegel said on Wednesday. “I think it’s important that we remain flexible in a situation that is changing rapidly.”

From Cambridge Analytica Scandal To ‘Fake News’, Zuckerberg Remains Controversy’s Child
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A Harvard-dropout, a serial entrepreneur, a tech genius and the founder of one of the biggest social media platforms in the world, Mark Zuckerberg is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated and renowned figures in the world of tech.

The fifth-richest person in the world, Zuckerberg’s name is often taken in the same breath as well-established multi-billionaires like Bill Gates, Elon Musk and other tech moguls. However, if you were to take a closer look at the life of the Facebook founder, you will see that his journey hasn’t been an easy one.

Zuckerberg has often faced a lot of flak and backlash, mostly for the policies that are enforced on Facebook and the techie has had to go to great lengths to justify them, including testifying before the Congress.

As the entrepreneur turns 36, we take a look at some of Zuckerberg’s biggest controversies and how the tech mogul dealt with them.



A Harvard-dropout, a serial entrepreneur, a tech genius and the founder of one of the biggest social media platforms in the world, Mark Zuckerberg is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated and renown..
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Over the last decade, Facebook and subsequently its founder Zuckerberg has found himself embroiled in many controversies but never has there been a scandal like Cambridge Analytica which shook up not just the entire US but also the world of tech.

Cambridge Analytica, is a British voter profiling company which campaigned for US President Donald Trump during the 2016 US Presidential Elections. The British firm used the data obtained from Facebook to target the likely supporters of President Trump during the online election campaign.

Cambridge Analytica claimed that they had the data for 30 million Facebook users out of 2.2 billion users.

The scandal was so huge, that it sparked an online debate about how social media websites like Facebook and Twitter handle user data. It also inspired a Netflix documentary, ‘The Great Hack’, which covered the scandal in detail.

Source

Over the last decade, Facebook and subsequently its founder Zuckerberg has found himself embroiled in many controversies but never has there been a scandal like Cambridge Analytica which shook up not..
Read More

After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Zuckerberg found himself in hot water again, but this time, it was not because of the breach of user data or privacy concerns.It was over political ads.

The political ads on Facebook had always been the centre of conversation and there had been much conjecture over their accuracy (or lack thereof). In 2019, in a speech at Georgetown University in mid-October, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, ‘We don’t fact-check political ads’.

"We don't do this to help politicians, but because we think people should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying. And if content is newsworthy, we also won't take it down even if it would otherwise conflict with many of our standards."

For the uninitiated, Facebook employs a third-party fact-checker to ensure the ads on the platform are accurate, but political ads are apparently exempted from the fact-checking. As a result, both Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg got a lot of flak not just from users, but even politicians like Senator Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocaso-Cortez.

Source

After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Zuckerberg found himself in hot water again, but this time, it was not because of the breach of user data or privacy concerns.It was over political ads.The poli..
Read More

Facebook and subsequently Zuckerberg have often been criticized for not fighting the menace of ‘fake news’ and not taking appropriate measures to curb its spread. According to a Vox report, during the 2016 US Presidential Elections, several stories surfaced on Facebook which were ‘misleading, sloppily reported, or in some cases totally made up’.

Several pieces of fake news, like Pope endorsing Donald Trump and several other bogus stories did rounds on Facebook. Post the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential Elections, there was a fierce online debate on whether the ‘fake news’ on Facebook could have swung the election in favour of the US President Donald Trump.

In the year 2018, Mark Zuckerberg came up with an apologetic post outlining ways that the platform will tackle the problem.

Source

Facebook and subsequently Zuckerberg have often been criticized for not fighting the menace of ‘fake news’ and not taking appropriate measures to curb its spread. According to a Vox report, during th..
Read More

In 2013, Facebook came up with ‘Free Basics’ which provided users with access to certain websites for free, without data charges, in places where Internet access may be less affordable. However, ‘Free Basics’, soon sparked online protests as some users felt that it was a violation of net neutrality.

Soon, several Indian start-ups and telecom regulators pulled out of Facebook’s ‘Free Basics’ to protect net neutrality. Commenting on the events, Mark Zuckerberg defended ‘Free Basics’ in a Facebook post, writing, "If someone can’t afford to pay for connectivity, it is always better to have some access than none at all."

Several Indian users argued that if access to certain websites was given for free, users would prefer using those websites putting others at a disadvantage. Zuckerberg tried to defend ‘Free Basics’ but he couldn’t woo Indians.



In 2013, Facebook came up with ‘Free Basics’ which provided users with access to certain websites for free, without data charges, in places where Internet access may be less affordable. However, ‘Fre..
Read More

On May 10, 2010, which also happened to be Memorial Day, a large-scale online event called ‘Quit Facebook Day’ was organized where a large number of users decided to delete their Facebook accounts.

The number one reason for users to quit Facebook was privacy concerns (48%), being followed by a general dissatisfaction with Facebook (14%), negative aspects regarding Facebook friends (13%), and the feeling of getting addicted to Facebook (6%).

The coordinated mass exodus saw a large number of people delete their Facebook accounts and several signed an online petition at Quitfacebookday.com.

Source

On May 10, 2010, which also happened to be Memorial Day, a large-scale online event called ‘Quit Facebook Day’ was organized where a large number of users decided to delete their Facebook accounts.Th..
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The Facebook algorithm customizes and personalizes every user’s news feed as per their likes and dislikes. This is also one of Facebook’s major attractions as the news feed is tailored as per the user’s needs.

However, the flipside to personalization is the echo chamber, where the user is being presented only with those opinions which align with their worldview, thus limiting their horizons.

Source

The Facebook algorithm customizes and personalizes every user’s news feed as per their likes and dislikes. This is also one of Facebook’s major attractions as the news feed is tailored as per the use..
Read More

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