Facebook parent organisation Meta requires staffers to return to the office three days a week, starting in September
Meta Platforms has begun notifying its workforce on Thursday of its new remote work policy – mirroring similar workplace reversals of other tech giants.
The Information reported (citing a person familiar with the matter) that Meta has told its staff that they will need to work from the company’s offices three days a week beginning in September 2023.
Tech firms are facing some staff pushback against their collective return to the office requirements. In August last year a study from workspace management specialist infinitSpace found that a majority of UK business leaders are struggling to get staff to return to the office.
Return to office
According to the Information report, Meta’s new remote-work policy will not impact existing workers who primarily work remotely.
“We’re committed to distributed work, and we’re confident people can make a meaningful impact both from the office and at home,” a Meta spokesperson was quoted by CNBC as saying in a statement. “We’re also committed to continuously refining our model to foster the collaboration, relationships and culture necessary for employees to do their best work.”
Meta embraced remote working during the pandemic, and it first extended its remote-work policy to all full-time employees in June 2021, after it had previously stated that it would allow staff to work remotely through the end of 2020.
At the time, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company had learned over the course of the year during the height of the Covid pandemic that “good work can get done anywhere, and I’m even more optimistic that remote work at scale is possible, particularly as remote video presence and virtual reality continue to improve.”
Indeed, Zuckerberg said in 2020 that he could see half of Facebook’s employees permanently working remotely within the next five to 10 years.
Meta even announced a scheme whereby staff could opt to work from home permanently, if they so decide.
However, there would be some financial adjustments.
For example those that choose to permanently remote work from less expensive areas in the mid west for example, would not be able to remain on the same salary.
Essentially Facebook would adjust the person’s salary in line with local living costs.
Meta is not alone, as many tech companies including Amazon and Google parent Alphabet have been reversing course on previous remote-work plans and have called on their workers to return to physical offices at least three days a week.
And nearly all major tech firms are currently undertaking painful restructuring that involves thousands of job losses.
Last November Zuckerberg confirmed that Meta would cut about 13 percent of its employees, or roughly 11,000 jobs.
That second round of job cuts was part of Meta’s efficiency drive after a tough 2022, where it contended with a post-pandemic slump in digital ads, coupled with heavy spending on the Metaverse that unsettled some investors.
Zuckerberg recognised this investor concern in February this year after Meta posted a notable decline in profits, coupled with a third straight quarter revenue decline, which led him to promise investors that 2023 would be a “year of efficiency”.