Removing the Remote Barriers: Facebook Is Leaning Into the Future to Stay Connected
Photo Credit: AfroTech

Removing the Remote Barriers: Facebook Is Leaning Into the Future to Stay Connected

Having a job during an ongoing pandemic is a blessing, but for those working remotely, it has presented a unique opportunity for a generation of workers. 

According to Forbes, “The world witnessed a historic shift in the 2020 job market due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While some companies used to offer the ability to work from home as a perk, it has now become the norm for most businesses. By 2025, an estimated 70% of the workforce will be working remotely at least five days a month.”

Leaning into the unknown, Facebook has seen these changes as a way to attract and empower its increasingly diverse talent by making roles more accessible for those seeking careers in tech — something that has directly impacted Black professionals looking to enter the growing industry. 

Facebook’s Commitment to Remote Work 

As a global employer, Facebook is refining its remote work experience to meet the unique needs of everyone working on its distributed teams. The vast tools and resources available like Workplace and Portal make it possible to openly communicate, connect, and have equal opportunities to make a positive impact on the lives of people around the world. 

Facebook’s dedication to ensuring its people have all the resources they need to thrive is truly holistic. From extensive learning and development options, including a variety of remote learning resources and training to help grow employee skill sets and careers to fully remote tech support and tools that help managers build the effectiveness of their teams. 

For Facebook, it’s all about reimagining the way work is done, as the world’s largest social networking platform has pivoted to redefine the future of its workforce. By investing in remote and other flexible options, Facebook has been able to draw and engage a diverse workforce with various backgrounds and perspectives. 

Recently speaking with AfroTech, Technical Sourcer Melissa Simpson (Facebook, Infrastructure) explained how Facebook has made shifting to remote work a smooth success, how they have stayed connected and continued growing together as a company, and much more. 

What impact has working remotely made on your life and how has Facebook made that choice easier?

Melissa Simpson: I started working at Facebook in January 2018 and have now been here for three years, in a Technical Sourcer role on our Recruiting team. I selected remote work the first time it was offered last year, and I’ve been working remotely since last March due to COVID-19. 

I believe that the future of remote work is bright for Facebook because we have made it very easy for people who choose remote work not to miss a beat within their careers or on their teams. I’m able to continue my career growth and development efforts by taking advantage of classes from our Learning and Development team. On top of all that, we were given funds to ensure we have the ability to set up our home offices well. 

In what ways has Facebook helped you stay connected despite working remotely?

Melissa Simpson: Our Facebook Resource Groups haven’t missed a beat. I’m able to attend programming to remain connected to FRG groups, including Black@, Women@ and Pride@. I enjoy staying connected and have built an extended colleague family within those groups as well. 

We get together as a team and have happy hours, cooking classes and just overall good times. I’ve also gotten closer to a few of my co-workers during COVID-19. Our next fun thing to do remotely is an Escape Room, and I can’t wait!

How has Facebook embraced a remote work culture & how has it influenced your own success?

Melissa Simpson: [I’ve] worked with my manager to create my own path while being provided opportunities to strengthen my skill set so I can reach the goals that I’ve set for myself. 

What I like most about the company culture is you can do your best work while being encouraged to not be afraid. You can also work on projects that you are most passionate about (outside of your role), I’m excited about a program I just joined called the Speaker’s Bureau, which will help me become a better communicator. [Also], you get to share your feedback about what it’s like to work here. [You can] even talk to Mark Zuckerberg during Q&A sessions if you want to ask questions or provide your own feedback. I’ve never worked at a company where they ask employees for feedback and try to change when we provide areas that need improvement. 

What has your experience been like setting boundaries working remotely as a parent balancing a busy career?

Melissa Simpson: At first, it was hard. My days would bleed into my nights; I felt like I was always working. Then I began to put structures into place — promising myself that I would turn off my laptop at a certain time — and that allowed me to create more normal working parameters. I’ve learned that If you aren’t sure how to ask for help, place time on your manager’s calendar, provide the obstacles you are facing and see if they can leverage assistance that you can work towards. 

Working remotely as a parent has made it much easier to get up, get my day started and be productive without having to get in traffic. Kids are also experiencing a hard time not being able to learn (and have fun with friends) at school, so parents are in overdrive. Finding creative ways to allow them to see their friends virtually, or in a park six feet apart, have been some good times as well. I love working remotely, as it allows me to make sure I can cook for them and care for them the best that I can during these unprecedented times. 

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With work-from-home options becoming the norm for many, Facebook has stepped up to the plate to provide its employees with flexibility while empowering them to do their job from virtually anywhere. A rapid response that Melissa says,“We have moved fast and have had the ability to take our events to the virtual world, where they have been successful in helping us reach our hiring goals.” 

For those seeking remote work or other opportunities at Facebook, candidates can search for roles they are interested in via the Facebook Careers Page.

This sponsored editorial is brought to you in partnership with Facebook.