SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – With Facebook’s adoption of permanent remote work on Thursday, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has untethered one of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies from the place that incubated it.
But he also dashed a Silicon Valley dream: that tech workers would be able to take their generous salaries with them as they flee the Bay Area’s crushing housing costs, dirty sidewalks and crowded roadways.
As lockdowns dragged into their third month, message boards popular with well-paid tech workers have lit up with fantasies of working long-term from tropical beaches and spacious houses in affordable small towns in the Midwest.
“Does that mean I could apply for a job in Silicon Valley and work remotely from, say, the Caribbean? Asking for a friend,” wrote one user on Blind, an app designed to let workers swap information anonymously.
Afraid not, Zuckerberg said, addressing employees in a publicly broadcast livestream on his Facebook page.
The company, one of Silicon Valley’s biggest employers, is giving U.S. staffers who are approved to work remotely until Jan. 1, 2021 to update the company on where they plan to base themselves, at which point their salaries will be adjusted to reflect the local cost of living.
Zuckerberg said he expects half of Facebook’s workforce to take him up on the offer over the next five to 10 years.
Employees who attempt to wiggle around those compensation adjustments will be subject to “severe ramifications,” he said, as the company needs to account for employee locations to avoid violating tax laws.
Zuckerberg said Facebook will monitor adherence