Facebook to reopen offices to 10% of Bay Area employees starting in May
By Allison Levitsky Tech Industry Reporter, Silicon Valley Business Journal Updated
Facebook Inc. is planning to reopen its Bay Area offices at 10% capacity starting in May.
The social media giant is one of the first large tech companies to confirm reopening plans this spring, a year after tech campuses shuttered to control the spread of Covid-19.
Facebook is reopening its offices one at a time, starting with its Menlo Park headquarters on May 10. A week later — assuming the virus continues to recede — Facebook will reopen its Fremont offices, and on May 24, its Sunnyvale offices will reopen. The company’s two downtown San Francisco towers won’t reopen until June 7.
Facebook is taking a “measured approach to reopening offices,” spokeswoman Chloe Meyere said in an emailed statement. The company will require employees in the office to keep their distance, wear masks at all times and get tested for Covid-19 weekly “where possible.” The company is not requiring its employees to get vaccinated before they return to work.
The partial reopening comes 14 months after Facebook first recommended that its employees start working from home on March 6, 2020. The company is still far from a return to normal, and won’t be offering its popular perks, including free food or shuttle service, any time soon.
“We will not be providing employees with the facilities or amenities typically offered at our offices,” Meyere said. “We look forward to being able to resume normal office operations in later phases.”
Facebook employees still have the option to work from home until July 2, or until their office has been open at 50% capacity for a month. The company doesn’t expect to be able to reopen its largest offices at 50% capacity until after Sept. 7.
Even after that, Facebook plans to embrace remote work long-term. In May, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he expects half of his workforce to be fully remote by 2030.
Office workers are allowed to return to work in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties after those two jurisdictions recently reentered the state’s Covid-19 “orange tier,” denoting “moderate” spread of the virus.
Alameda County, where Facebook leases around 1.5 million square feet in Fremont, is expected to be upgraded to the orange tier next week.
State officials are still encouraging remote work even in counties where offices can reopen.
SAP SE, the German software giant with offices in Palo Alto, San Francisco and San Ramon, told the Business Journal on Wednesday that it was considering a partial reopening of its Bay Area offices.
Most other local tech giants are still planning to reopen later in the year.
Full Article by Allison Levitsky: https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2021/03/26/facebook-reopening-office-plan-bay-area-may.html