American social media and technology company, Facebook Inc., has announced that it will allow most of its employees to continue working from home through the end of 2020, saying that it does not expect to reopen most of its offices before July 6.
The company said there were several factors involved in deciding whether it would reopen its offices.
The Menlo Park, California-based company stated that factors include information from public health agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Johns Hopkins, as well as government guidance.
California is beginning to ease some social distancing rules in a multistage process outlined by Governor Gavin Newsom.
According to Facebook, its employees have been working from home since March and it would continue to pay hourly employees who may not be able to work because of reduction in the number of staff, office closures, or if they fall sick.
The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mark Zuckerberg, announced that Facebook was cancelling physical events with more than 50 people through June 2021, including the Oculus Connect VR conference, which was to take place in the fall of 2020 and will now be an online-only event.
While some employees’ jobs cannot be done remotely, Zuckerberg stated in April:
Overall, we don’t expect to have everyone back in our offices for some time.
The company, which filed for an initial public offering (IPO) on February 1, 2012, said that the decision to allow employees to work remotely through the end of 2020 may begin a trend for other tech companies, as the social media giant was one of the first tech firms to begin asking employees to work remotely to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic in Wuhan, China, several companies have suspended physical operations and giving their employees the nod to work remotely.