Zuckerberg insists Facebook ready for ‘arms race’ over 2020 U.S. election interference

Darnell Taylor
May 22, 2020

"When you limit hiring to people who either live in a small number of big cities or are willing to move there, that cuts out a lot of people who live in different communities, different backgrounds or may have different perspectives on things", he said.

Facebook's new remote work system is "mostly going to rely on honor code", Zuckerberg said, but the company will "put in some basic precautions" to make sure that employees are where they say they are.

About 95 per cent of Facebook employees work remotely due to pandemic concerns, and the company has told them they can continue to do their jobs that way through next year if desired.

Zuckerberg said that while the company would allow certain workers to work remotely full time, they would have to notify Facebook if they want to move to a different location by Jan 1, 2021.

Workplace, which now has some five million paying users, is taking advantage of innovations in other parts of Facebook, adding virtual "rooms" where as many as 50 people can drop in for video chats and integrating services from its Portal smart screens and Oculus virtual reality.

Mr Zuckerberg was interacting with his employees through a Facebook livestream on Thursday that suddenly disconnected after just under an hour.

But Facebook is a much larger company, with almost 50,000 employees, and it went further in laying out a novel proposed structure for remote work.

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Facebook said it will recruit senior engineering staff in two phases but did not reveal how many positions would be open this summer. "Because this is fundamentally about changing our culture and the way that we all are going to work long-term".

Over the past few decades, economic growth in the U.S. has been quite concentrated, with major companies often hiring in a handful of metropolitan areas.

About 95% of Facebook's employees are now working from home due to coronavirus stay-at-home orders.

The move follows a similar announcements earlier this month by social media rival Twitter and payments company Square, which were the first major tech companies to permit remote work indefinitely.

The effect on costs is unclear, Zuckerberg said, as savings will be partially offset by additional costs related to travel and technologies associated with setting up home offices.

"Eventually we want to enable many existing employees to become long term remote workers if they want". The company has said workers will be able to work from home at least through the end of the year.

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