Just spoke with our staff about our experience working remotely and how we plan to support it in the future. I know that many others also think about it, so share your thoughts — suddenly someone come in handy.
I believe in the next 5-10 years, 50% of our employees to work remotely, but we are going to achieve this gradually. I’m sure Facebook will become the most promising remote work among a company of our size, and for this purpose we develop a thoughtful and responsible plan. Yet not all details are solved, and we’ll learn and improve along the way.
Remote operation has several obvious advantages. First, we will get access to promising personnel outside the traditional technology centers in major cities — which in turn will expand economic opportunities across the country and the world and make our company more diverse in all respects. The reduction in commuting will have a beneficial effect on the environment. Because many people work better outside the office environment, we will contribute to public life. In particular, we will promote the technology of the future. Since many of our developments are designed to help people to be connected always and everywhere the same messengers, video chat, workplace, portal and ultimately virtual and augmented reality — embodying our beliefs, we will accelerate the development of these technologies.
We asked employees what they think about working from home. More than half of them believe that they are at least as productive as in the office. About 40% are interested in remote work full time, but more than 50% want to go back to the office as soon as possible. Of those who want to work remotely, about 75% said they can move. Of these, 38% said they will move to the big city, and the rest stated that it would prefer to live elsewhere.
Not everything is drawn in rainbow colors. My parents had hard, when the children instead of school sit at home, and single people have it hard too. When there is no clear boundary between work and home, to find the right balance between work and personal life can be difficult. What worries me is that between employees, especially new arrivals, weak social ties. In addition, when all separated, there are questions about the creative process. No doubt, most of us would really like to see each other in person as soon as possible.
There are many open questions, and answer them right now we can not — we will understand in the coming years. How to encourage creative thinking and support a culture that rarely see each other? How to ensure that all have equal career opportunities and equal the returns from work, even remotely? Remote employment will help to maintain and increase our diversity, but if working from home will be harder as to make it not be a heavy burden on members of underrepresented groups? What are the career ladder, we can offer ambitious people who are most comfortable in an office environment? And what about recent graduates who need training and practice?
To solve these issues will take time, so focus on remote employment. Let’s start with the experienced engineers, living within 4 hours from the cities where we have engineering centers (e.g., Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, and San Diego). Besides, we are already creating a new — in Atlanta, Dallas and Denver.
This measure is long overdue. The last few decades, economic growth in the U.S. was highly concentrated, and large companies often hire personnel in a few Metropolitan areas. This means that we miss a lot of talented people just because they live outside a major center. New opportunities outside these cities will contribute to the economic recovery — especially if the remote employment will acquire more companies.
What about the current employees is our guiding principle is: to figure out how best to serve the public interest and to open more innovation. My own opinion about this over the last few months has changed. I have always believed that our teams work best when they are physically together. We even designed the offices so that they were definitely spaces where you can walk and chat, and where people come up with insights and bright ideas. I believe technology will help to overcome it, and quarantine revealed to us even the opportunity available today
Today the vast majority of employees are already working remotely, and, apparently, it will continue in the next few months. We’ve already announced that all who can work remotely, stay home at least until the end of 2020. Ultimately, we want many of the current employees have moved to work remotely, if they prefer, but I’m going to take it to learn along the way.
Thoughtful and methodical approach will help us to strengthen this important part of our culture. We spent a lot of time developing programs that help individuals to perform the work and make a career, and teams to work together effectively, and the same care and commitment will be needed in the programs of remote work. A separate product you can create per month, but the culture built over the years, so our approach is long-term.
At the same time, we understand that many people want to go back to the office as soon as possible. Therefore, our priority is people who are unable to work productively from home; those who work with the hardware, browsers, content, data scientists, and others. That these people were safe, it is necessary to provide them enough space and keep others away until trial restrictions are removed. We will monitor the total load in the office and figure out how best to arrange the tables and equipment. In accordance with social distancing, we expect that only 25% of employees return to the office until the end of this year.
We are a technology company, and we are fortunate that a significant part of our work can be done remotely. Not everyone is capable of such flexibility. But as technological progress, the number of fully remote working are likely to increase in other sectors of the economy. I hope that over time, the location will be less impact on the number of employees, and we have a technology that makes people feel to feel needed, wherever they are. Sure, this way after the Covid-19 will the whole world, and we create products that more organizations have switched to remote work, and people could communicate and feel their presence in society.
For this to work for all, will take time. We will learn a lot, and we’ll have lots of news and details. We will share in the coming months, so when things settle down.