Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated during a recent livestream that employees considering leaving Silicon Valley for areas with cheaper cost-of-living could be subject to pay cuts. Many Facebook employees are working from home during the Chinese virus pandemic and questioning the need to live in the extremely costly San Francisco Bay area.

During a recent livestream, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that as Facebook plans to “aggressively” ramp up its hiring of remote workers, those that choose to live outside of the Silicon Valley area may be subject to pay cuts, CNBC reports.

Zuckerberg stated that he predicts that 50 percent of Facebook’s employees could be working remotely within the next five to 10 years, stating: “We’re going to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale.” Facebook plans to allow certain employees to work remotely full time, but those that move to a different location will have to notify the company by January 1, 2021.

Employees that have moved outside the Silicon Valley area could have their salaries cut based on their new locations, according to Zuckerberg. “We’ll adjust salary to your location at that point,” the CEO said noting that this is necessary for tax and accounting reasons. “There’ll be severe ramifications for people who are not honest about this.”

Zuckerberg stated on his weekly employee livestream that he believes that this decision will help the company improve its employee retention and allow the firm to hire from talent pools that previously could not move to big cities to work with the firm.

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

Zuckerberg stated that 95 percent of Facebook’s employees were now working remotely, according to a survey of staff 50 percent of the employees stated that they were as productive working from home as they were at the office. 40% of employees said they were extremely, very, or somewhat interested in full-time remote work according to the survey, and among that subset of employees 75 percent stated that they were considering they might move to a different city if they could work remotely.

Zuckerberg added: “It’s somewhat of an unfortunate and unsustainable setup for people to have a lot of these jobs they have to move to a small number of big cities.” Facebook will reportedly allow existing employees to request permanent remote work if they meet a specific criteria.

Zuckerberg’s announcement comes shortly after Facebook unveiled new features for the company’s enterprise communication software, Workplace. Workplace has grown its base from 3 million users in October to 5 million now amidst the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.

Facebook share prices rose by nearly 1 percent following Zuckerberg’s announcement.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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