Mark Zuckerberg Moves to Kill a Pandemic Habit

Mark Zuckerberg and his social media empire Meta Platforms  (META) – Get Free Report are having an extraordinary year. 

The numbers are simply staggering. The chief executive officer saw his net worth increase by $53.7 billion this year, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His fortune thus amounted to $99.3 billion as of June 2, which allowed him to return to the top 10 of the richest people in the world. 

The evolution of its wealth depends on the performance of the Meta share on which it is based. Meta stock prices are up 127% this year, translating to a market value of almost $390 billion.

Zuckerberg managed to regain the confidence of investors by imposing a new concept: “The Year of Efficiency,” which boils down to a drastic austerity cure marked by the loss of 21,000 jobs, a first wave of which was announced on Nov. 9 and the most recent goes back a few days ago.

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Meta Wants Employees to Return to the Office 3 Days a Week

He also forgot the metaverse, the virtual world he had made the next big thing of Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. The metaverse was quickly replaced after artificial intelligence, which is a real technological revolution that can improve the company’s revenues and profits.

Now that he has put things right and dispelled investor doubts, Zuckerberg wants to tackle a habit inherited from the coronavirus pandemic. This is remote work. Three years after lockdowns and other restrictions were introduced to limit the spread of covid-19, Meta Platforms is asking employees currently assigned to an office to come back to the office three times a week. 

The measure will take effect beginning Sept. 5.

“We’re committed to distributed work, and we’re confident people can make a meaningful impact both from the office and at home,” a Meta spokesperson said. “We’re also committed to continuously refining our model to foster the collaboration, relationships and culture necessary for employees to do their best work.”

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company said that it’s asking teams to prioritize time together to foster healthy relationships, strong collaboration and a vibrant culture. The changes made, Meta argued, are about what works for teams.   

Employees who are considered remote workers will keep their status and continue to work remotely, the spokesperson said. They are not affected by the decision. Meta promises to continue to refine its work organization model for greater effectiveness.

Meta Is Not Alone

The decision to summon the employees back to the office was long pondered by Zuckerberg. From March, the boss was already preparing employees for this eventuality.

“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,” the chief executive wrote in a blog post on March 14. “This analysis also shows that engineers earlier in their career perform better on average when they work in-person with teammates at least three days a week.”

“This requires further study, but our hypothesis is that it is still easier to build trust in person and that those relationships help us work more effectively,” he argued, adding that “I encourage all of you to find more opportunities to work with your colleagues in person.”

Since the easing of measures taken during the pandemic, companies have encouraged their employees to return to the office but have been met with refusal from the latter. This has forced many companies to adopt a hybrid work organization: remote and in-person work for workers who want it. But in recent months, some bosses have raised their voices and summoned employees to return to the office.

Zuckerberg and Meta aren’t alone in believing that productivity increases and company culture is strengthened when employees work together in-person. In February, Andy Jassy, ​​the CEO of Amazon, asked corporate employees to spend at least three days a week in the office starting May 1.

“We should go back to being in the office together the majority of the time (at least three days per week),” Jassy wrote in a blog post on Feb. 17. “Of course, as there were before the pandemic, there will still be certain roles (e.g. some of our salespeople, customer support, etc.) and exceptions to these expectations, but that will be a small minority. We plan to implement this change effective May 1.”

JPMorgan Chase, Disney, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Tesla, Twitter, Google are among the companies that have asked employees to return to the office.

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