Facebook Inc on Wednesday said that it would give employees the option of sticking with remote work for the long term, even offering to help some interested in moving to other countries.
Beginning on Tuesday next week, Facebook would let any employee whose job can be done remotely ask to work that way permanently, the Internet giant said.
“We believe how we work is more important than where we work,” Facebook said while sharing an update to its remote work policy. “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’re located.”
Facebook and other Silicon Valley firms shifted to remote work early in the COVID-19 pandemic, relying on the Internet tools they create to get jobs done.
Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg has said that he expects the shift to remote work to be a lasting one at the leading social network, which plans to look for employees able to do their jobs from wherever they happen to live.
Facebook in the past few months began reopening its offices after a year-long pandemic shutdown, but without perks such as free food and commuter shuttle service.
The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and improving health conditions were cited as reasons for gradually welcoming employees back to abandoned campuses.
Facebook said that work schedules for those returning to offices would be flexible, but its guidance is for people to be on-site at least half the time.
The social network said that it is on track to have most of its US campuses at 50 percent capacity by early September.
Some of its offices in Europe and Asia are open, the California-based firm said.
Safety protocols in place include wearing masks and keeping one’s distance at work, along with routine COVID-19 testing, it said.
As of Tuesday next week, Facebook would also expand remote work across international borders, supporting moves from the US to Canada as well as shifts to the UK from other parts of Europe, the company said.
Google and Microsoft Corp have unveiled similar hybrid schemes for workers, while some firms such as Twitter have told employees that they can work remotely indefinitely.
Apple Inc is reportedly facing employee resistance to its plan to bring employees back to the office.
The iPhone maker has called for employees to return three days a week starting in September, tech news Web site The Verge reported.
However, some Apple workers have signed a letter calling for more flexibility for employees who have been doing their jobs remotely for more than a year.
The letter said that the remote system works well and gives employees better work-life balance, while accommodating those with special needs and reducing the risk of contagion.
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