As the world awaits a return to normality, Mark Zuckerberg just outlined a cautious path forward for Facebook.
For starters, Facebook will require the vast majority of its 45,000 employees to work from home through at least the end of May, Zuckerberg announced on Thursday.
The goal is to create a safer environment for employees doing what Zuckerberg considers to be more “critical jobs,” like content reviewers working on counterterrorism or suicide and self-harm prevention.
Facebook is also canceling any large physical events with 50 or more people through June 2021. It's extending its policy of no business travel through at least June of this year.
Along with Facebook employees, Zuckerberg said he is looking out for the communities in which the company operates.
“We’re slowing our plans to return to the office in order to prioritize helping the rest of our community and local economy to get back up and running first,” he said. “We know that most people can't work from home as easily as many of our employees can.”
More broadly, Facebook’s cofounder-CEO said he supports “re-opening” communities and economies in staggered waves.
This is “to make sure the people who are returning to work can do so safely and that we minimize the possibility of future [COVID-19] outbreaks,” he said.
Last month, Facebook reportedly committed to giving all employees a $1,000 bonus in addition to their full half-year bonuses to help them weather the pandemic.
The company also recently allotted $100 million for small businesses. All told, it plans for the money to reach 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries around the world.
Meanwhile, Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan also recently donated $100 million to help find more effective COVID-19 treatments.
Facebook’s response to the global pandemic could help to improve its reputation among consumers at home and abroad. A recent Knight Foundation and Gallup stu dy found that U.S. consumers hold some decidedly unfavorable views about Facebook and other tech companies.