Facebook parent Meta is rolling back its full-time remote-work policy, though the company is still offering the option for hybrid work. Under the new policy, Meta employees have to work from the office thrice a week, while remote workers can continue to work from home. The new policy will come into effect in September. The company extended its remote-work policy in 2021 amid the Omicron variant scare. However, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg started dropping hints about the end of remote work after the company laid off 11,000 workers late last year. Not just Meta, other big tech firms, including Amazon, Google, and Apple, are also operating in a hybrid model.
A Meta spokesperson confirmed the change to CNBC and said the company anticipates a “meaningful impact.” The statement reads, “We’re committed to distributed work, and we’re confident people can make a meaningful impact both from the office and at home. We’re also committed to continuously refining our model to foster the collaboration, relationships and culture necessary for employees to do their best work.”
After announcing the first round of layoffs in November 2022, Meta has been looking at ways to get employees back to the office more frequently. Zuckerberg also claimed that engineers who worked from the office performed better than those who worked remotely by citing internal studies. This was contrary to what the Meta chief said in 2021 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. He pointed out that “good work” can be “done anywhere.” Zuckerberg also added that remote work at scale was possible as virtual reality tech to improve, referring to the company’s own work on metaverse and VR headsets Oculus.
Meta is also in the process of finishing the second round of layoffs that impacts 10,000 more workers. The company has also cut down employee “perks”, including Meta days — extra vacation days introduced during the pandemic for workers’ mental well-being.
There could be some setbacks, though we may see Meta taking stronger measures to get employees to the office thrice a week. Apple employees expressed dissatisfaction with the company’s mandatory three-day work-from-office rule. On the other hand, Apple believes “in-person collaboration” is “essential” to the company’s culture and future. Similarly, Amazon workers also staged a walk-out earlier this week, following the company’s decision to make three-day work from the office mandatory. Amazon workers are also upset with the layoff decisions.
Not just foreign tech firms, Indian tech firms are taking similar measures as COVID-19 cases continue to drop. Recently, TCS issued a warning to employees to comply with the company’s work-from-office policy. It wants people to work from the office for three days a week, which is 12 days a month.