Despite being one of the first companies to let staff work from home during the pandemic, Meta has decided to stop offering remote work in new job postings, according to people familiar with the platform.
As the company carries out mass layoffs and reduces hiring in its “year of efficiency,” getting workers back into the office is understood to be another way to combat falling revenues.
But Meta's actions aren't taking place in isolation. It's just the latest in a long line of major companies to repeal flexible measures, with Disney, Amazon, and Walmart rolling out return-to-office mandates this year.
Meta Stops Offering Remote Work to New Recruits
According to sources close to Meta, hiring managers in the company have been told to stop listing “remote” or “out of the office” working as options on new job listings.
While the social media giant's official policy still allows employees to work from home whenever they please, this move suggests that the company might roll out stricter measures soon.
This news shouldn't come as a surprise, though. Despite being an advocate of flexible working during the pandemic, Meta's co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has gradually shifted his stance on remote work.
“Our hypothesis is that it is still easier to build trust in person and that those relationships help us work more effectively.” – Memo sent out by Meta
When Zuckerburg made the decision to axe another 10,00 workers earlier this month, he devoted a section of the layoff notice to the importance of “in-person time.” Here, he claimed that working in the office helps workers to form relationships that help them to work more effectively.
He also pointed to data that suggested that engineers who joined the company in-person performed better than those who joined remotely.
Meta lost $4.28 billion to its Reality Labs division last year, bringing its total losses for 2022 to an eye-watering $13.7 billion. As the company contends with falling ad revenues and mounting legal expenses, it's no wonder it's looking to recover losses. But Meta isn't the only company rolling back remote working policies.
Is the Remote Working Experiment Drawing to a Close?
While one-minute commutes and decked-out home offices feel like the new normal for many of us, a number of major companies are starting to backtrack on their policies around remote work.
At the start of this year, Disney's CEO Bob Iger ordered workers to return to the office four days a week, extending its three-day-a-week policy that's been in place since 2021. Ecommerce behemoth Amazon dropped its WFH policy recently too, asking workers to come into the office at least three days a week starting on May 1st.
However, as the majority of US businesses remain connected through remote solutions like web conferencing software, flexible working isn't going away any time soon. Most companies are moving forward with a hybrid solution, while some like Airbnb and Atlassian give their staff full autonomy about where they work.
Read our guide to companies offering remote work for an updated list of WFH-friendly workplaces.