Facebook is priming to open its Bay Area offices starting May 10, but the social media giant will not offer employees free food or transit. Thankfully, it looks like we won’t have to contend with its tech buses busying our streets and bike lanes for the immediate future.
As things begin looking up across the Bay Area amid successful vaccine rollouts, life as we once knew it is starting to emerge. One of those facets of day-to-day life is work buildings around the region reopening — among them being Facebook’s Bay Area offices, including its Menlo Park headquarters, which are all set to open in May. (The tech giant is expected to first usher employees back to its headquarters on May 10 at 10%, followed by its Fremont buildings reopening May 17 and Sunnyvale on May 24; Facebook's two downtown SF spaces will open back up on June 7.)
But Facebook in-office life won’t be like it was before the pandemic, according to the Chronicle.
“As we return to the office, we have a number of protocols in place that include testing, physical distancing, wearing masks, and other best practices. We continue to work with experts to ensure our return to office plans prioritize everyone’s health and safety,” said Chloe Meyere, a Facebook spokeswoman, per the newspaper.
In addition to the Bay Area’s office reopening, branches in Seattle are expected to open in April, as well; a staggered process for reopening offices in Asia is also in the works.
Citing “health reasons,” Facebook announced that there will be no more free food at its onsite cafeterias — a contentious benefit many of the region's tech employees have enjoyed in the past, which has sparked controversy and outrage amid growing rates of hunger in San Francisco — and no buses shuttling workers to and from campuses.
And currently: there’s no timeline for when those perks are expected to return (Frankly, for the sake of SF's still-struggling eateries and mass transit agencies, let’s hope they don’t.)
News of Facebook reopening its offices and headquarters comes in the same week many Bay Area counties — San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, and Santa Clara — moved into the state’s Orange Tier of COVID-19 restrictions. Uber has said it would open its Mission Bay headquarters on Monday (at 20% capacity), while Salesforce has hinted Thursday that the company would reopen offices “soon,” though its “flexible remote work” model will still remain intact for the foreseeable future.
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Image: A sign is posted outside of Facebook headquarters on April 5, 2018 in Menlo Park, California. Protesters with the activist group "Raging Grannies" staged a demonstration outside of Facebook headquaters calling for better consumer protection and online privacy in the wake of Cambridge Analytica's unauthorized access to up to 87 million Facebook users' data. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)