After Google, Facebook has announced that it will allow employees to work from home until the middle of next year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Facebook also said it will provide employees with an additional $1,000 to spend on “home office needs.”
“Based on guidance from health and government experts, as well as decisions drawn from our internal discussions about these matters, we are allowing employees to continue voluntarily working from home until July 2021,” a spokeswoman mentioned in an emailed statement.
With the Covid-19 pandemic hardly showing any sign of slowing down, in the month of July, Google also extended its coronavirus ‘work from home’ provision, adding that staff would be able to continue working from home until the end of June 2021. , Google last month said it would allow its nearly 2 lakh employees to work from home till the middle of next year if their roles permit.
Google and Facebook have major office presences around the world. And despite the pandemic forcing them into offering more flexible working arrangements than they usually do, they have continued to build out their physical office footprints, signalling a commitment to operating their own workplaces.
As questions revolve over the future of the physical office now that human contact is itself a public health risk, the deepest pocketed tech giants are paradoxically showing they’re not willing to abandon the traditional workplace altogether and go all-in on modern technologies that allow office work to be done remotely.
"To give employees the ability to plan ahead, we are extending our global voluntary work from home option through June 30, 2021, for roles that don't need to be in the office," Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in an email to employees.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said then that over the course of the next decade half of the company could be working fully remotely. Though he said certain kinds of roles would not be eligible for all-remote work — such as those doing work in divisions like hardware development, data centres, recruiting, policy and partnerships.
Facebook could be looking at having most of its workforce work remotely on a permanent basis within a decade.