Facebook’s Parent Company Will Make Employees Do Their Own Laundry

Many employees of Facebook’s parent company are expected to return to the office on at least a part-time basis by the end of March. (Jason Henry for The New York Times)
[nytimes.com – 2022.03.11] The salad days of Facebook’s lavish employee perks may be coming to an end.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, told employees on Friday that it was cutting back or eliminating free services like laundry and dry cleaning and was pushing back the dinner bell for a free meal from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., according to seven company employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The moves are a reflection of changing workplace culture in Silicon Valley. Tech companies, which often offer lifestyle perks in return for employees spending long hours in the office, are preparing to adjust to a new hybrid work model.

At Meta, for example, many employees are scheduled to return to the company’s offices on March 28, though some will continue to work from home and others will come into the office less often.

Meta discussed the changes to its perks program for months as it explored how to shift to the new, hybrid workplace model, said two employees. The company has also expanded employees’ wellness stipends from roughly $700 to $3,000 this year in an attempt to accommodate for removing some of the other in-office perks.

“As we return to the office, we’ve adjusted on-site services and amenities to better reflect the needs of our hybrid work force,” a Meta spokesman said in a statement.

Stopping the laundry and dry cleaning service for employees at Meta’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., ends a famous — if unusual — perk. The laundry service, which was operated by a third party, had free pickup and drop-off around campus and was intended “to make people’s lives easier,” according to a 2020 interview with a Facebook spokeswoman.

One employee, when reached for comment on the changes, texted back, “Can’t talk, doing laundry.”

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