SAN FRANCISCO – Following Facebook’s adoption of a permanent remote workforce, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has pulled up the anchor to set sail from Silicon Valley, following three months of lockdown to combat the coronavirus.
But he also dashed a Silicon Valley dream: that tech workers would be able to take their generous salaries with them and fulfil fantasies of working long-term from tropical beaches while sipping pina coladas.
Alas, that’s not to be, it seems. Zuckerberg, a bit of a killjoy, addressed employees in a publicly broadcast livestream on his Facebook page and said that salaries would be based on an arbitrage of where workers live.
The company, one of Silicon Valley’s biggest employers, is giving US workers who are approved to work remotely until January 1, 2021 to let the company know where they plan to base themselves. Zuckerberg said he expects half of Facebook’s workforce to take him up on the offer over the next five to 10 years.
Even as many tech workers dream of a future in low-tax states, others fear that the shift to remote work could push wages lower and warn that being far from headquarters could steepen the climb up the corporate ladder.