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Facebook extends remote working until July 2021

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Facebook is allowing its employees to work from home until July 2021 due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus across the US.

The social media firm will also give its staff £1,000 to put towards any home office equipment they’ll need.

The decision follows a number of tech companies that have announced similar plans, such as Google, and those that have made remote working permanent for some of their workforces, such as Twitter and Fujitsu. 

“Based on guidance from health and government experts, as well as decisions drawn from our internal discussions about these matters, we are allowing employees to continue voluntarily working from home until July 2021,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement. “In addition, we are giving employees an additional $1,000 for home office needs.”

The company also said it will continue to reopen offices in a restricted capacity, but only where virus mitigation has been in place for at least two months. It is unlikely that many locations in the US will reopen before the end of the year, however, due to the high number of coronavirus cases in the country. 

There was more optimism from Facebook and Google in May, mid-way through the first wave of the pandemic, as both announced plans to reopen offices in July. That has come and gone, but the pandemic still has a strong foothold in America.

Twitter showed a bit more flexibility and forward-thinking with its COVID-19 strategy, offering employees the decision to work from home indefinitely. The social media company also announced it wouldn’t open offices before September, though that may also change due to the continued rise in cases.

Japanese manufacturing giant Fujitsu announced plans at the start of July to make 80,000 workers permanently remote. This also included reducing its office footprint by 50% as part of its post-pandemic future. The plans are only for its employees in Japan at the moment, but Fujitsu hopes to reduce office space by 2022. 

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