Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook parent company Meta, has pointed to internal data analysis suggesting that engineers who initially joined the company in person outperformed those who joined the company remotely from the start.
He also suggested that younger engineers, or rather those who are “earlier in their careers,” perform better when they work face-to-face with colleagues at least three days a week.
The insights stem from a memo sent to employees earlier today, in which Zuckerberg revealed the company is cutting an additional 10,000 jobs. In addition to announcing the new round of layoffs, Zuckerberg dug into some of the ways the company wanted to improve efficiency, such as canceling “lower priority projects” and creating a flatter organizational structure by removing several layers of management.
However, the fact that Meta aligns remote work performance and data tells us something about how those in power at Facebook Towers currently feel about the whole remote work kit and caboodle, with Zuckerberg opining that “personal time helps build of relationships and get more done.”
Remote work is one of the legacies of the global pandemic, and Meta – like most other companies – was forced to embrace it faster than it otherwise would have. Speaking in May 2020, Zuckerberg said that Meta (then called Facebook) would become the “most progressive remote work company at our scale,” and to this day his career page highlights its mission to become a . to build a distributed-first future. .”
Add to that the fact that Meta is actively reducing its real estate footprint while doubling down on metaverse aspirations that would no doubt benefit from a more distributed workforce, and it would make little sense for Meta to reflect on the recent embrace remote working. However, it seems that Meta wants to get people back to the office a little more often.
Referring to “early analysis” of internal performance data, Zuckerberg said that engineers who started at Meta in a fully personal role before transitioning to an outside role, as well as those who remained in a personal role, “performed better on average than people who were remotely have joined.”
“This analysis also shows that engineers perform better on average early in their careers when they work face-to-face with teammates at least three days a week,” said Zuckerberg. “This requires further research, but our hypothesis is that it’s still easier to build personal trust and those relationships help us work more effectively.”
It’s not too ridiculous to suggest that people new to a specific job might benefit from being around co-workers, especially inexperienced newcomers who are brand new to the working world. But at a time when the option of remote work is a major selling point for in-demand tech talent, companies will need to sidestep this issue slightly. There may also be a broader issue at play here in terms of How companies manage their workforce remotely. A company of Meta’s size and global distribution may find it more difficult to make the transition than one that has grown organically from the ground up as a remote company.
In any case, Meta doesn’t want to make any direct demands just yet, but that could change if other tech companies reassess their own approach to the topic of remote work. But for now, Zuckerberg is gently urging people to collaborate in person with colleagues more often if they can.
“We are committed to distributed work,” Zuckerberg said. “That means that we are also committed to constantly refining our model to make it work as effectively as possible. As part of our ‘Year of Efficiency’, we are focusing on understanding this further and finding ways to ensure people are building the connections they need to work effectively. In the meantime, I encourage all of you to seek more opportunities to work personally with your colleagues.”