Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg says half of employees could be remote by 2030

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(FILES) This file photo taken on November 20, 2017 shows logos of US online social media and social networking service Facebook. The European Commission said on February 15, 2018 that US social media giants have made an effort to comply with EU consumer protection rules, but that Facebook and Twitter have not made all the […]

(CNN) — As many as 50 percent of Facebook employees could be working remotely within the next five to 10 years, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday.

The projection — a guess, Zuckerberg said, not a target — marks a major pivot by the world’s biggest social media company to support working from home after the pandemic.

Zuckerberg pitched the idea as both a matter of satisfying employee desires and also as an effort to create “more broad-based economic prosperity.”

“When you limit hiring to people who live in a small number of big cities, or who are willing to move there, that cuts out a lot of people who live in different communities, have different backgrounds, have different perspectives,” Zuckerberg said on a livestream posted to his Facebook page.

Zuckerberg said the company expects to dramatically increase its remote hiring over time and look into supporting permanent remote work for its existing employees.

As the company looks to reopen its offices, Zuckerberg said, he expects only about 25 percent of Facebook employees to return to their desks initially.

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