back to article Y'all ready to get back to the office this October, Facebook tells staff in the US

Facebook, like other Silicon Valley mega-corps, is ready to get its workers back in the office, setting October as the time when business returns somewhat to normal. Last week Tim Cook told Apple staffers that, from September, they should expect to work at least three days a week in the office – well, it did spend US$5bn on a …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Working onsite

    will set the Virus Free.

  2. Joe W Silver badge

    Salesforce's Chief People Officer Brent Hyde declared "the 9-to-5 workday is dead

    Now it is always on, always expected to read emails within seconds of delivery, take calls all day and night. Nope. Been there, done that, was not healthy for me.

    Snark aside, even in my company 9-5 (well... more like 8-4:30) died a while ago. Most teams are required to have somebody to contact within "core business hours", apart from that we are more or less free, with certein limits: Don't start before 6am, don't work past 9pm (Sat: 6am-1pm), though you might required to work then if in a technical role, e.g. when we have to roll out bigger updates / maintenance of core equipment etc. (but that's a different story).

  3. sabroni Silver badge

    Why?

    These are all businesses, where's the business case for going back to the office? Is it literally "We spent loads of money on a building so we need to use it?"

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      Those middle managers are at a loose end stuck at home. The people who do the work... not so much.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      A few attempts to study how productivity changes when working from home have found that it negatively affected people. Perhaps some companies are using those. If they are, they should probably know that another set of studies found that it had no impact or even improved performance, and there hasn't been much of a study about how much of the negative effect is due to people who would choose to go back to the office anyway. I'm guessing they all have some kind of metric for deciding these things, that the metric concerned hasn't been verified to make sense, and that they're going to make decisions anyway because which businessperson wants to read a statistician's report?

    3. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      Also, some businesses 'just like to see butts in seats'... at least mine did until this hit.

      the only time I'm in the office anymore is if I'm doing hardware work, or if I'm providing access for a vendor.

      I'm... ambivalent about it either way- Admittedly, I've gotten a fair amount of projects around the house done in the past year and a half during the work from home thing, so there is that.

  4. DS999 Silver badge

    Employees who want to keep working 100% remote

    Need to realize that if you prove you can do your job from home, it won't be long before your company's bean counters figure out someone else can do your job from another country for a lot less money.

    1. short

      Re: Employees who want to keep working 100% remote

      Hardly. I was hired for my abilities, not my convenient location and ornamental body, and I doubt I'm alone in this,

      Of course, it's not impossible that someone will decide I'm interchangeable with someone else cheaper, but there's always been that risk - going into the office doesn't really factor in to it, doubly so as I work for a genuinely global company.

    2. Velv
      Terminator

      Re: Employees who want to keep working 100% remote

      Funny how very few bean counters have ever figured out that the accountancy department can be outsourced too

    3. Nastybirdy

      Re: Employees who want to keep working 100% remote

      You say this like outsourcing somehow hasn't been a thing for the last 30+ years in the IT industry, y'know, when people were still in the office 9-5.

      Take your strawman and shoo.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Before the pandemic we were going to move up a floor in the current building to save a bit of cash. Then for many reasons it was decided that we'd up a few more floors with a significant reduction in available space, plus, of course, a rather significant reduction in rent.

    The flip side to all this is that whilst front office etc have all got desks, IT were told it was 50% capacity and hot desking. I'd be quite happy doing 3/4 days in the office and 1/2 WFH, but I really don't dig the entire hotdesk thing. And so far for most questions along the lines of "well, how's that going to work then?" the answer is pretty much "don't know". Translation: management and business side are all sorted, you IT lot (without proper management) can fuck off and sort yourselves out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sounds familiar

      Every few weeks the higher ups have a chat with me about bringing the team back. A couple of weeks ago I had cause to attend the other floor where the front office are located. Rammed like chickens in a battery farm. After the subsequent chat I genuinely thought WFH permanently was on the table.

  6. NicX

    "There's a kicker: don't expect Silicon Valley money if you're now living in cheaper areas of the world. Salaries will be adjusted to fit your locale."

    Gotta find a way to fuck your employees somehow.

  7. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

    Same with my company

    "Collaboration" is the reason given, but their once intransigent position of 3 days in the office seems to have resulted in a significant amount of pushback, and they're now acting more concerned and trying to understand "what motivates us". Also, people are reminding management that we survived this past year in good stead while *everyone* worked from home.

    Well, I'll tell you what motivates me: not spending 3 hrs a day commuting, sitting at a long table in an open office with no privacy and people walking behind me all day, bare cement floors that reflect every sound, and the latest innovation: "hoteling", aka "hot desking" (with its requirement that I set up and tear down my work environment every day -- that's gonna get old real fast).

    I can be far more productive for 90% of what I do by WFH. I'm happy to come in to build and test hardware in the lab, but if I have to do desk work, it's going to be at home if I have any say about it.

    You know, thinking back to my time at uni -- I did most of my work at home and still managed to get my degrees.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I find it odd that many tech companies seem to be at odds with each other regarding the future of WFH.

    I work at a US outsourcer. ~120,000 employees world wide.

    We basically closed all our offices down at the beginning of the pandemic, where we could. With only people who had to be there in person, going in.

    In the last 12 months or so, some of the offices have now been closed permanently, either leases not being renewed, or if we owned the site, we've sold them. (My local office has been sold to some property developers)

    The company started to push a home first policy. The only people who will go into the office are...

    * Those that have to for the role (hardware, secure gov account etc)

    * Those who want to, either full or part time

    Everyone else (around 90%+ of the company apparently), will be a home worker first.

    The company did a questionnaire to find out what equipment we had, or didn't have at home, such as external monitor, mouse/keyboard, wireless headset, desk, proper adjustable chair etc. Anything you were missing, they sent out.

    Their viewpoint was that performance had shown no sign of dropping, that people were generally happier (no commute etc), and that the tech, Teams, VPN etc. seemed to be working fine.

    They've also been quite strict about work vs personal time, i.e. not checking emails out of work hours etc.

    Personally, I haven't installed mobile Outlook or Teams (and there is no company requirement to do so, although some do), so for me, I can only get to my email and voice when on the company provided laptop, which gets turned off when I finish at the end of the day. I don't have a company mobile phone, and I don't hand out my personal number to work people. So if I decide I've done for the day, I've done.

    Shame other companies seem to be going backwards!

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