Facebook expands its work-from-home policy

Facebook app on smartphone screen

Facebook is expanding its work-from-home policy to most employees, other than jobs like hardware maintenance that require on-site work. The company will also begin allowing employees to request remote work across international borders.

Facebook will have some form of hybrid work as well:

Zuckerberg said employees who want to work in an office will be asked to come in at least half the time. This is to ensure that the office remains vibrant and that employees who do come into the office make the most of being a part of that community.

Additionally, he said Facebook plans to organize regular in-person gathers for office and remote workers “to support the relationship-building.”

This is a smart move as Facebook is in a heated battle for content, and frankly expectations are changing.

  

Changes to business travel post-COVID

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As we try to get back to “normal” following the Covid pandemic, it’s apparent that some things have changed for good.

One industry facing a reckoning involves business travel. Ask consultants and they will explain that business and margins boomed in 2020 as they were able to dramatically reduce travel, which lowered those expenses for clients, who plowed those savings back into billable hours for the consultants. The clients got more value for their money, while consultants made more. So there’s no incentive on either side to get back to “normal.”

That’s just one industry. Of course, there will be an appetite to get back to in-person contact. Conferences in particular should see lots of interest as networking doesn’t translate as well to Zoom calls and virtual conferences.

But, as explained in this post, businesses are starting to rethink what qualifies as “necessary travel.” This could have a huge impact on the travel and hotel industries and related jobs.

  

Google will try “hybrid” workplace models

home office

Google is finding that many employees want to return to the office, but not necessarily on a full-time basis. Many would prefer the option to work from home and then come into the office when needed and for meetings and events.

This hybrid model may become more common, and certainly provides flexibility that will be sought by many employees.

It also raises challenges of course. Companies like Google need to consider of some employees can be mostly virtual so that they don’t have to live in hyper-expensive cities like San Francisco.

But flexibility is a good thing if managed correctly. So get ready to hear of more “hybrid” workplace solutions.

  

Protesting student debt

This video is another example of the student debt crisis we face in this country.

One fundamental issue is that we’ve created an incentive structure to push students into borrowing money in order to get an education. The rational decision would be to pick an affordable school, but those options are limited. The college experience is so ingrained in our culture that many families want that for their children.

Also, we have young people making bad financial decisions, and too many parents aren’t helping. You shouldn’t take out a big student loan to go to a small, private college if you can pay much less at a state school. Also, if you’re going into a field with little earning power, this decision is even more important.

This video also discusses the Debt Collective, which was born out of the Occupy Wall Street movement and helps people dispute debts with a goal of cancelling their loans. It currently has over 700 people who are planning to never repay their loans.

  

App for workers to access wages before payday

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So many workers live paycheck to paycheck, and this has led to the proliferation of payday loans. Unfortunately, these high-interest loans are a terrible burden on workers.

A new startup called Immediate wants workers to be able to get access to their wages before payday if they have an immediate need such as an emergency bill. The difference is that Immediate will charge a small flat fee instead of a high-interest loan, providing an important service to workers.