According to seven company employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, informed employees on Friday that it was curtailing or eliminating free services such as laundry and dry cleaning, as well as moving the dinner bell for a free meal from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Due to the fact that the last of the company’s shuttles that transport workers to and from their homes normally departs the office at 6 p.m., the new supper hour is an inconvenience for many employees. Moreover, it will make it more difficult for employees to load up on large to-go boxes of food and transport those boxes back to their homes.
The changes are a reflection of a changing working culture in Silicon Valley, according to the company. Tech businesses, which often provide lifestyle amenities in exchange for workers working long hours in the office, are prepared to transition to a new hybrid work paradigm, according to a recent report.
The return to the company’s offices of many workers at Meta, for example, is set for March 28, but some will continue to work from home and others may come into the office less often.
Employees at other organisations who are planning to return to work after two years of being out of the office due to the coronavirus epidemic may take note of the changes. Recruiting and retaining highly skilled workers is a constant challenge in the technology industry. Companies such as Google, Amazon, Meta and others have long provided creature comforts such as on-site medical attention and sushi buffets, candy stores and beanbag chairs to attract and retain top talent.
According to two Meta workers, the company has been debating changes to its rewards programme for months as it considers how to transition to a new hybrid workplace model. This year, the business has also increased workers’ wellness stipends from around $700 to $3,000 in an effort to make up for the loss of some of the other in-office incentives that were eliminated.
According to multiple employees who saw the article announcing the change, several employees were eager to express their dissatisfaction in the comment box under the post announcing the change. After the changes were revealed, workers immediately began asking if the firm planned to reward them in other ways and whether Meta had conducted an employee poll to determine how the changes would affect the company’s employees.
In response to the queries, Meta officials, who have been attempting to thread the needle of clamping down on disinformation connected to the Ukrainian conflict while also dealing with an outright ban of Facebook and Instagram in Russia, seemed to have little tolerance for the questions.
Employees who viewed the thread characterised the tone as hostile, with Meta’s chief technical officer Andrew Bosworth assertively defending some of the modifications and chafing at what they saw to be a feeling of entitlement in the remarks. Mike Schroepfer, the departing chief technology officer, also expressed his support for the revisions in the comments section of the article.
“I can honestly state that when our colleagues are stuffing three to ten to-go boxes full of steak to go home, nobody cares about our culture,” the employee added, responding to claims made by others that the changes would be detrimental to Meta’s workplace culture. According to the statement, “a decision was taken to attempt to curtail some of the misuse while also removing six million to-go boxes.”
It seemed as if a large number of workers agreed. As of lunchtime Friday, the employee’s message had received the most likes in the thread, with hundreds of other employees expressing their support for her.
Employees at Meta’s Menlo Park offices will no longer be able to take advantage of a well-known — though peculiar — benefit with the termination of the washing and dry cleaning service. It was designed “to make people’s life simpler,” according to an interview with a Facebook spokesperson conducted in 2020. The laundry service, which was managed by a third party, had free pickup and drop-off around school and had free pickup and drop-off around campus.