Meta is bringing back employee perks after this spring’s brutal rounds of mass layoffs, with the owner of Facebook and Instagram reviving happy hour, corporate swag and campus amenities like snacks, laundry services and haircuts, according to a report.
At the tech giant’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters — where thousands of staffers report to a 250-acre campus with 30-plus buildings — pre-pandemic perks are back now that “dozens” of the 21,000 sacked workers are being rehired and employees are required to report to the office at least three days per week, according to Bloomberg.
Dinnertimes, which on-site restaurants served late into the evening during COVID, have been moved back up to a more normal hour, 6 p.m., employees told the outlet.
Food vendors are also setting up shop again, encouraging workers to show up in person.
And with better attitudes, staffers have begun partaking in standing Thursday happy hours again.
At Meta’s 250-acre headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., staffers say morale is on the up and up thanks to the return of happy hours, branded corporate swag and campus perks like snacks, laundry services and haircuts.AFP via Getty Images
A Meta spokesperson told Bloomberg that “dinner, happy hour and company swag never really went away, merely adjusted given the pandemic and budgets.”
Other amenities are making a grand return along with Meta’s workforce, the spokesperson said, such as stocked snack bars.
Lately, stocked fridges at Meta’s headquarters have been running out of fruit-flavored La Croix sparkling waters — evidence that the company’s workforce is in attendance and taking advantage of office perks.
Mark Zuckerberg’s so-called “year of efficiency” led to 21,000 layoffs, bare snack bars and super-late dinners. However, office fridges are once again stocked, and on-site vendors are serving dinner at 6 p.m.Denver Post via Getty Images
Similarly, snack bars are running bare, though now they’re being refilled — a switch-up from routinely-bare concession stands that plagued Meta’s bleak offices throughout the pandemic and through the beginning of this year, just after the Mark Zuckerberg-owned company laid off more than 11,000 workers.
Following the mass layoff, which impacted roughly 13% of Meta’s overall workforce, morale continued to plunge as Zuckerberg’s so-called “year of efficiency” meant staffers lost teammates that felt like friends and senior management delayed approval of necessary budgets, disrupting the normal workflow.
“The year of efficiency is kicking off with a bunch of people getting paid to do nothing,” one Meta employee told Financial Times back in February.
Staffers told FT that at the time that “zero work” is getting done, and that decisions that normally took days to approve now take weeks or months, including in some of the company’s key sectors such as the metaverse and advertising.
Despite the challenges, one month later, the Facebook parent company slashed its workforce by another 10,000, bringing the total job cuts at the company to a staggering 21,000.
The bloodbath also saw the closure of 5,000 unfilled positions. All the while, Zuckerberg nudged remaining staff to spend more time working from the office.
Zuckerberg’s harsh cost-cutting efforts were attributed to Meta’s two consecutive quarters of earnings that beat Wall Street estimates. In the weeks since, the company has rehired “dozens” of the axed employees.ZUMAPRESS.com
The boss’ cost-cutting efforts did, in fact, help the company achieve two consecutive quarters where earnings beat Wall Street’s expectations on both profits and revenue.
In July, Meta reported that second-quarter revenue grew 11%, to $32 billion, compared to analysts’ average estimate of $31.12 billion.
Ad revenue rose 12% for the three-month period ended June 30, faster than growth at Google, where ad revenue increased just 3%.
The company also reported profits of $7.79 billion for the quarter, a 16% increase compared to last year and another impressive outperformance of analysts’ estimates.
Meta’s second-quarter results came after the Instagram parent also surpassed Wall Street’s modest expectations on both profit and revenue in the first quarter.
Meta said it earned $7.47 billion in the January-to-March period, and revenue climbed 3%, to $28.65 billion.
Following back-to-back quarters of improvements, Meta’s share price hit an 18-month high and things have started to look up for staffers as Zuckerberg has appeared to be more lax about his “year of efficiency” campaign.
Just last month, there were reports that Meta rehired “dozens” of the 21,000 employees who were sacked as part of Zuckberger’s money-saving mission.
The exact number of employees who have rejoined Meta was not immediately clear, though the new hires are believed to be in engineering and technical roles.
Meta is mandating that its workforce report to an office at least three days per week.David G. McIntyre
Experienced former Meta engineers with strong performance histories at the company have been most likely to be rehired, and many are taking gigs with less seniority and lower pay, according to Insider.
And though perks like laundry services and on-site food vendors are back, staffers told Bloomberg that it’s they’re not as attractive as they were before the pandemic.
Laundry, which used to be free, now costs a fee, employees told the news site, while others insisted that the food isn’t as good as it used to be.
Representatives for Meta did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
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