meta asks employees to work from office

Meta Platforms (NYSE: META) has asked employees to work from the office for three days a week joining the ranks of several other companies that have reversed their work-from-home policies.

The Facebook parent started informing employees of the new policy yesterday – which was first reported by The Information.

“We’re committed to distributed work, and we’re confident people can make a meaningful impact both from the office and at home,” said a Meta spokesperson.

They added, “We’re also committed to continuously refining our model to foster the collaboration, relationships and culture necessary for employees to do their best work.”

Notably, tech companies have been on a literal firing spree this year and Meta Platforms has laid off 21,000 employees over the last eight months – which impacted roughly a quarter of its workforce.

Many other tech companies including Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, Salesforce, Twitter, and Lyft have laid off employees this year – with estimating that tech layoffs have topped 200,000 so far in 2023.

2023 tech layoffs

Also, several companies including Amazon, Disney, and Alphabet have asked employees to work from the office instead of remotely.

Incidentally, earlier this week, hundreds of Amazon workers staged a walkout from the offices over the company’s climate policies as well as the return to office mandate which became effective beginning in May.

Meta Platforms Asks Workers to Return to Office

The internal memo distributed to Meta employees said that on an average employees spend 2.2 days a week in the office.

Notably, Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg was quite upbeat on remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic and in June 2021 he said “good work can get done anywhere.”

Zuckerberg’s views changed over time and in March he said that “Our early analysis of performance data suggests that engineers who either joined Meta in-person and then transferred to remote or remained in-person performed better on average than people who joined remotely.”

He added that the analysis showed that at the beginning of their career, engineers perform better when they work in person with the team for a minimum of three days weekly.

Notably, Zuckerberg has touted 2023 as the “year of efficiency” and has made several strategic actions like eliminating many middle management roles.

Markets have been in love with Meta and the buying spree has lifted the stock 120% YTD – making it the second-best performing S&P 500 stock after Nvidia – which has been on fire amid the AI euphoria.

Meta is Also Pivoting to AI in the Short Term

Zuckerberg has said on multiple occasions that AI is a short-term opportunity for Meta while metaverse would drive its long-term growth.
Despite many Meta shareholders getting exasperated with the massive metaverse losses – which totaled $13.7 billion in 2022 – Zuckerberg has said that the company would continue to invest in the business.

The company is working to popularize the metaverse and has also launched avatars on WhatsApp. As for employees, Meta now believes that working three days from the office would help increase productivity.

Meanwhile, many economists wrote the obituaries of full-time office work during the pandemic. Fast forward to 2023, and many companies are now recalling employees back to offices.

While many companies discovered that employees are more productive while working from the offices – Disney said that a work-from-office setup works best for creative businesses like theirs.

As the world has now mostly transitioned to the pre-pandemic era more companies might follow suit and ask employees to work from the office.

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