Possible pay cuts await Facebook employees shifting to full remote work

Facebook will begin giving employees the capacity to work from home permanently, or at least through the rest of 2020. However, these employees may face possible pay cuts.

Facebook’s decision follows the trend of many Silicon Valley companies at this point in time. That shift, however, may come with pay cuts for the employees who choose to work remotely.

According to CNBC, CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussed some of the concerns associated with remote work in his town hall last May 21, which was live-streamed through his personal page.

Compensation dependent on location

Zuckerberg also outlined in a Facebook post that 50% of Facebook’s current workforce was productive with working from home.

I just spoke with our employees about what we've learned about remote working and how we're planning to support it…

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, 21 May 2020

In a survey, the company even found out that many of these were interested in performing their duties in a remote location permanently.

Perhaps more interesting was the data that the majority of those interested in full-time remote work were interested in relocating should they be allowed to work remotely.

However, Zuckerberg cautioned that for these individuals, there will be a blowback of sorts.

He said that compensation for current remote work employees who relocate would have to be adjusted. This is to reflect the average cost of living in their new location.

Zuckerberg said during the town hall:

“Our policy here has been for years is […] that comp varies by location […] But we pay a market rate and that varies by location, so we’re going to continue that principle here.”

This means that employees who are currently working in an area with high market rates might get a reduced salary once they move to their new location.

Criteria for permanent remote work eligibility

Not all employees will be eligible for full remote work, however, said the CEO on his livestream.

The company came up with criteria that employees had to be met before they get allowed to work remotely.

Live from our internal weekly company townhall sharing an update on our approach to remote work.

Live from our internal weekly company townhall sharing an update on our approach to remote work.

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, 21 May 2020

The first is that they needed to be experienced employees. For tech employees, that meant only level five and above employees will be allowed.

This restriction is not as strict in other less technical departments. The rationale behind this was that high-level employees would be able to cope more efficiently with the challenges of shifting to remote work than less-experienced employees.

Secondly, the employee must exhibit a very strong recent performance. This ties in with the first criterion. The company wants only dependable employees to tackle the challenges of remote work.

The third and fourth criteria revolve around the employee’s personal group. If the employee is part of a group that can support remote work or a hybrid, then they may be eligible to shift.

They also need to get approval from their group leaders. Otherwise, they will have to continue working in-office.

Facebook joins the ranks of Twitter, Microsoft, and Apple in adopting pandemic-induced shifts to remote work.

Image courtesy of Frederic Legrand – COMEO/Shutterstock

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