Facebook’s parent company will require employees to do their own laundry

Facebook’s lavish employee perks salad days may be coming to an end.

Meta, Facebook’s parent company, told employees on Friday it was reducing or eliminating free services like laundry and dry cleaning and pushing back the dinner bell for a free meal from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., according to seven companies. employees who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The new lunch hour is an inconvenience because the last of the company shuttles that take employees home usually leaves the office at 6 p.m. It will also make it harder for workers to stock up on heavy boxes of take-out food and bring them to their fridges at home.

These moves reflect the changing workplace culture in Silicon Valley. Tech companies, which often offer lifestyle perks in exchange for employees spending long hours in the office, are gearing up to adapt to a new hybrid work model.

At Meta, for example, many employees are due to return to corporate offices on March 28, although some will continue to work from home and others will come into the office less often.

The changes at Meta could be a wake-up call for employees at other companies preparing to return to the office after two years of the coronavirus pandemic. Google, Amazon, Meta and others have long offered comforts like on-site medical care, sushi buffets, candy stores and bean bag chairs to attract and retain top talent, which remains a priority in the technology industry.

Meta has had a tough time in recent months, though company officials say the benefit changes are unrelated. For the first time in years, investors are questioning the long-term prospects of the company’s advertising business model. Its market cap has halved to $515 billion. And some employees are wondering if they should look for new jobs as they see the value of their stock-based compensation plummeting.

Meta has been discussing changes to its benefits program for months as it explores how to transition to the new hybrid workplace model, two employees said. The company has also increased employee welfare allowances from about $700 to $3,000 this year in an effort to compensate for the elimination of some of the other benefits in the office.

“As we return to the office, we have adjusted on-site services and amenities to better reflect the needs of our hybrid workforce,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement. “We believe that people and teams will be increasingly distributed in the future, and we are committed to creating an experience that helps everyone succeed.”

Many workers were quick to complain in the comments section below the post announcing the change, according to several employees who viewed the post. Just minutes after the changes were announced, employees asked whether the company planned to compensate them in new ways and whether Meta had undertaken an employee survey to assess the impact of the changes on staff.

Meta executives, who have tried to crack down on war-related disinformation in Ukraine and are facing an outright ban on Facebook and Instagram in Russia, seem to have little patience for questions.

In a tone that several employees described as combative, Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth assertively defended some of the changes and chafed at the perceived sense of entitlement displayed in the comments, according to employees who viewed the thread. . Mike Schroepfer, the outgoing technical director, also wrote in the comments in support of the changes.

Another employee who worked on the company’s catering team pushed back even more vigorously, according to two people who saw the post.

“I can honestly say that when our peers fill three to ten boxes of steak to take away to take home, no one cares about our culture,” the employee said, pushing back against other people’s claims that the changes would be detrimental to Meta. workplace culture. “A decision has been made to try to reduce some of the abuse while eliminating six million takeout boxes.”

It appeared that many employees agreed. At noon on Friday, the employee’s post was the most popular comment in the thread, with hundreds of workers expressing their support.

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