Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Meta, the company that owns Facebook, has said that internal data analysis shows that engineers who joined the company in person did better than those who joined remotely.
He also said that younger engineers, or those who are “early in their careers,” do better when they work with their peers in person at least three days a week.
The information comes from a memo that Zuckerberg gave to staff earlier today, in which he said the company was eliminating 10,000 more jobs. In addition to talking about the new round of layoffs, Zuckerberg talked about many other things the company was doing to increase productivity, such as dropping “lower priority projects” and flattening the organizational structure by getting rid of several layers of management.
Although Zuckerberg believes that “in-person time helps create relationships and get more done,” the fact that Meta is harmonizing performance and remote working data tells us a little bit about how the powers at Facebook Towers are now thinking about the entire remote-working kit and caboodle.
As a result of the global pandemic, more and more people are working from home, and Meta, like most other businesses, had to do the same sooner than it would have otherwise.In May 2020, Zuckerberg said that Facebook, which was then called Meta, would be the “most forward-leaning firm on remote work at our scale.” The company’s careers page still talks about its goal of making a “distributed-first future” today.
It wouldn’t make much sense for Meta to reverse its recent embrace of remote labor given that the company is actively reducing its real estate footprint and stepping up its metaverse goals, both of which would likely benefit from a more scattered workforce. Meta appears to want individuals to visit the workplace a little more frequently, though.
Zuckerberg said that an “early examination” of internal performance data showed that engineers who joined Meta in an in-person role but later switched to a remote job and those who have stayed in an in-person role “did better on average than employees who joined remotely.”
According to our data, engineers who work with coworkers face-to-face at least three days a week perform better overall, Zuckerberg added. Even though more research needs to be done, our hypothesis is that personal interactions are still the best way to build trust and that doing so makes us more productive.
It’s not altogether absurd to argue that folks who are new to a given job—especially inexperienced newcomers who are brand-new to the workforce—might benefit from being with colleagues. But, at a time when the ability to work remotely is a key selling feature for technical talent in high demand, businesses will need to tread carefully around the subject. However, there might be a bigger problem here with how businesses manage their remote labor. In comparison to a firm that has grown naturally as a remote company from the ground up, a company of Meta’s scale and global distribution may find it more challenging to make the move.
In any case, Meta isn’t ready to make any specific demands just yet, but that may change as other tech firms reevaluate how they’re handling the issue of remote labor. But for now, Zuckerberg is gently suggesting that people work with their coworkers in person more often, if they can.
We are dedicated to distributed work, according to Zuckerberg. This means that in order to make this function as successfully as possible, we’re also dedicated to continually improving our model. We’re concentrating on understanding this further as part of our “year of efficiency” and figuring out how to make sure people form the connections they need to work productively. I urge everyone to take advantage of opportunities to collaborate with coworkers in person while we wait.