Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Georgetown University during a “free speech conversation” in Washington, DC, October 17, 2019.
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told CNBC that the company is holding “Wednesdays without a meeting” to encourage employees to avoid commuting.
“Many people have thought,” Hey, if I don’t have to go in and I don’t have meetings, I’ll be more efficient if I don’t have to go to the office that day, “” Zuckerberg told “Squawk Box” co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin in an interview that aired Thursday morning.
Zuckerberg discussed Facebook’s plan to start allowing existing employees to work full-time remotely and to speed up the recruitment of remote workers. Zuckerberg said he predicts that up to 50% of Facebook’s workforce could work remotely in the next five to ten years.
Due to orders for on-site coronavirus shelters, more than 95% of Facebook’s workforce is working remotely now, and the company will allow them to stay at home until 2020. Some experienced employees will be allowed to request approval to move to full-time. remote work for 2021.
Remote working also comes with other challenges. Facebook will have to figure out how to make sure employees don’t think their careers will be compromised if they’re working remotely.
“People are going to need to feel like they have the same opportunities to do their best work remotely in addition to being in the office,” he said. “These are things we are going to have to be very intentional about how we design these processes, how meetings work, what opportunities people have to make sure that the ambitious people who really care about their careers know that is always a good decision to work remotely. “
But Zuckerberg also highlighted the benefits of moving to a more distant job. Notably, Zuckerberg expects more remote work to help the company improve employee retention.
“One of the main reasons why people leave the company, they tell us that they are leaving us because they want to move, maybe with their family, but we don’t have an office there” , did he declare. “So now we’re going to be able to keep more of these people in the loop, which will be in some ways even more valuable than recruiting new people.”
He also said that allowing people to work from anywhere would bring more economic opportunities to areas outside of big cities and help the environment by reducing travel.
Finally, he noted, much of what Facebook does is to make people feel connected even if they are physically separate, and having a lot of remote workers will help the company better understand how to solve these problems.
“A lot of what we do is just create products that help people feel connected and present together, no matter where they are. So, this is the main type of food product we offer , or things like video chat, Workplace for enterprises, our material with Portal, or the longer term bets around virtual and augmented reality that really aim to help you feel present, I just want to move in a more distant direction and demand from our employees [to] relying more on these tools will also help to advance part of this future technological development. “