Facebook Seeks to Expand using Remote Workers

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Facebook will accelerate its geographic expansion by recruiting remote workers with an ambitious target of shifting half of its workforce to work remotely. On Thursday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the social media giant is seeking to expand away from Silicon Valley. To attain this target in a short period, the company will leverage the flexibility offered by the remote work model.

By this summer, vacancies for its remote workforce will be open for potential candidates to apply. Zuckerberg emphasized that the recruitment process for remote workers will be anchored firmly on diversity and inclusivity, with a focus on the deep talent pool beyond major cities. It is important to note that the bulk of the company’s remote workforce will be the current employees. About 95% of Facebook’s employees are already working remotely due to the Covid-19 epidemic. Some of the employees are expected to return to work in their brick and mortar offices after the lockdown eases. But, the company will allow employees who wish to shift to a remote workforce to do so. The announcement was made by Zuckerberg in a live stream to employees via Facebook.

Other Companies Embracing Remote Work

Even though Facebook’s target is aggressive, it is not the first tech company to embrace remote work. Through email, Twitter’s CEO Dorsey communicated to employees the decision to switch to the work-from-home model permanently. All Twitter employees who wish to continue working from home can do so forever. The announcement also cautioned employees seeking to revert to working from the offices not to expect things to return to normal any time soon. Apart from Facebook and Twitter, several other companies have also extended their work-from-home policies, including Amazon, Microsoft, JPMorgan, and others. The one thing that makes Facebook’s embrace of remote work is the staggering number of its employees. Currently, the company employs more than 48,000 people spread across the world. With Zuckerberg’s announcement, Facebook is now the largest tech company to shift to remote work permanently.

Why Embrace Remote Work Model

While Facebook’s decision was in response to the pandemic, the effectiveness of technologies like Zoom for remote work also played a role. In a sense, the lockdowns and uncertainty forced companies to reinvent to survive. Once they adopted work-from-home models, it became apparent that the model was more effective and efficient than working from the office. Another catalyst is the possibility of lawsuits in case employees contract the virus while working in the company’s premises. Based on the benefits of working remotely and the legal risks of recalling employees, shifting to remote work is the most logical option for Facebook.

What is Facebook’s Recruiting Plan for Remote Workforce?

Zuckerberg acknowledged the challenges in shifting its large number of employees to the new model and provided ample time for employees to transition with the deadline of 1 January 2021. In terms of geographical diversification, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C. have been selected for the first phase. Recruitment in these metro areas will commence by early July. The second phase will focus on recruiting talent in Atlanta, Dallas, and Denver. The company is already implementing the hiring process for 10,000 engineers who will build remote work hubs in the three cities.

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