Facebook will allow most of its employees to continue working from home through the end of 2020, and the company doesn’t expect to reopen most offices before July 6th, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed to The Verge. CNBC first reported the news and said CEO Mark Zuckerberg would be making a formal announcement today.
The company said there were a variety of factors involved in the decision, including information from public health agencies, like the Centers for Disease Control and Johns Hopkins, as well as government guidance. California is beginning to ease some social distancing rules in a multistage process outlined by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Facebook employees have been working from home since March, and the company said it would continue to pay hourly employees who may not be able to work because of reduced staffing, office closures, or if they’re sick.
Last month, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook was canceling physical events with more than 50 people through June 2021, including the Oculus Connect VR conference, which was to take place this fall and will now be an online-only event. While some employees’ jobs can’t be done remotely, Zuckerberg said in April, “Overall, we don’t expect to have everyone back in our offices for some time.”
Facebook’s decision to allow remote work for most employees through the end of 2020 home may be a bellwether for other tech companies, as the social media giant was one of the first tech firms to begin asking employees to work remotely to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.