“Large pools of talent”: Mark Zuckerberg touts remote-work plan

Facebook CEO announced last week that half of the company may move to remote work over the next decade

TRD NATIONAL /
May.May 28, 2020 12:00 PM

After announcing that Facebook will move toward more working from home, Mark Zuckerberg has detailed why the plan will work in his company’s favor.

“The biggest advantages I think are access to large pools of talent who don’t live around the big cities and aren’t willing to move there,” the CEO told Andrew Ross Sorkin during a segment of CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday. “And there are a lot of people in the U.S. and in Canada and ultimately around the world that I think we, and other companies that go in this direction, will be able to access.”

Zuckerberg informed Facebook’s 45,000 workers of the shift toward a distributed workforce last week. The move could see about half the company move to remote work over the next decade.

In addition to talent acquisition, Zuckerberg said he also believed the plan would benefit the environment by cutting out commuting, and foster stronger retention at the company because staff would no longer be limited to the cities where Facebook has offices.

He told CNBC that the company would first make the option of working from home available to more experienced employees, because younger employees benefited from in-office training.

In the case of very senior staff, he said it may not be realistic for them to go completely remote — and that included himself.

“I would anticipate that I’m going to spend more of my time working remotely than I did before, but I don’t think that it would be feasible for someone like me, or in a role like me, to just work remotely all the time,” he said.

Zuckerberg’s announcement could have major implications for the office industry in New York, where the company leases more than 1 million square feet of office space. It has also signed on for 1.5 million square feet in Hudson Yards, and is near a deal to lease Vornado Realty Trust’s Farley Post Office redevelopment.

Other companies, including Mastercard, have also signalled plans to reassess their physical footprints. [CNBC] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan


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