Facebook extends remote working, allows employees to move country

Staff to get more flexibility on location as company plans for hybrid future

Facebook plans to let employees work remotely once the pandemic is over, with employees able to request home working from next week.

From later in the month, any employee will be able to move from the US to Canada or from Europe, the Middle East or Africa to anywhere in the UK,an option that was previously only open to technical or recruiting roles.

By January 2022, Facebook employees will be allowed to permanently move between seven more countries in Europe, the Middle East or Africa.

But workers who move to a lower cost region may see their pay reduced, and will be encouraged to go to the office at times to facilitate team building.


Staff who must return to the office will also get more flexibility, with the Facebook’s guidance stating employees should be in the office at least half of the time.

Facebook’s workforce has been largely working remotely since offices were closed at the beginning of the pandemic last year.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he plans to spend 50 per cent of his time working remotely.

“As part of my commitment to remote and hybrid work, I plan to spend as much as half of the next year working remotely,” He said. “I’ve found that working remotely has given me more space for long-term thinking and helped me spend more time with my family, which has made me happier and more productive at work.

“I’ll be in the office a lot too, and I’m structuring my schedule to keep a good rhythm with our leadership team, as well as for planning and other key milestones.”

Apple recently announced staff must return to the office at least three days a week from September, with teams requiring “in-person” work returning for four to five days a week. Staff will be asked to come to the office on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, with the option for remote working on Wednesdays and Fridays, with remote working available for up to two weeks a year for staff to be closer to family, facilitate unexpected travel or other reasons.

Google also recently announced plans for staff to return to US offices. In a blog post, chief executive Sundar Pichai said he expects around 60 per cent of staff to come in to the office a few days a week, with 20 per cent moving to new office locations, and another 20 per cent working from home.

“We’ll move to a hybrid work week where most Googlers spend approximately three days in the office and two days wherever they work best,” he said.

“Before the pandemic, we had thousands of people working in locations separate from their core teams. I fully expect those numbers to increase in the coming months as we develop more remote roles, including fully all-remote sub teams.”

Google will also allow workers to temporarily work from a location other than their main office for up to four weeks per year.

The tech giant is curently allowing staff to work from home until September, but people can return earlier if they wish. – Additional reporting: Bloomberg

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist