As employers begin putting in place procedures to bring employees back to the workplace, some company leaders are weighing in on the hurdles and merits of a permanent remote workforce.
Facebook’s co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg offered his assessment of the benefits of remote work, particularly when it comes to recruiting, writes TechTarget’s Patrick Thibodeau.
In a recent employee town hall, Zuckerberg noted that the coronavirus pandemic has permanently changed how work will get done—especially at the social media giant, Thibodeau writes.
“I think that it’s quite possible that over the next five to 10 years about 50% of our people could be working remotely,” Zuckerberg said.
The virus prompted a major cultural change for the tech company, he said.
“I just think COVID is going to be with us for a while to come,” Zuckerberg said. “That means that we can’t and don’t have to figure out every single detail about what the long-term is going to look like right now.”
Some clear benefits of remote work include access to new pools of talent, specifically, people who would never consider moving to a bigger city for a job, he said. “I’m very excited about that.”
Another benefit to remote work is retention. “Improved retention is as valuable—if not more—than being able to recruit new people,” Zuckerberg said.
While his remarks were directed at Facebook employees, Zuckerberg’s theme was universal. Every firm, it seems, is trying to figure out how to adapt now and after the pandemic ends.
His comments echo recent moves from Twitter, which announced it would offer a permanent remote work option to employees going forward.
Although companies like Facebook and Twitter consider remote work as a future workforce norm, some aren’t convinced it will become as widespread.
HRE Talent Management columnist Peter Cappelli, also a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources, says while several concepts of remote work have been around for decades, from “hot-desks” to telecommuting, none have ever stuck.
Zuckerberg also acknowledges a shift to remote work won’t necessarily save money, a conclusion he based on discussions with leaders of other firms that have undergone such transitions, TechTarget writes.
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