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Meta employees left to do their own laundry as perks get cut | Silicon Valley

Lavish onsite perks may be a thing of the past for employees at Meta, who will now have to do their own laundry due to company cutbacks.

The parent company of Facebook informed its employees it would be cutting down on various perks including free laundry, dry cleaning and valet service, as well as delaying the daily free dinner by half an hour from 6pm to 6.30pm, the New York Times first reported .

The pushed-back dinner service means fewer employees will get to eat on campus, as the company’s last shuttle bus departs the office at 6pm. As a result, employees will now have to decide between a free meal or a free ride home. It also will make it more difficult for employees to stock up on free food to bring home as leftovers.

In an email to the Protocol news site confirming the changes, a company spokesperson, Tracy Clayton, said: “Our culinary services are first and foremost an onsite perk for people while they’re working in the office … We want food to be served to meet that need while people might be working late.”

The announcement comes as many Meta employees are scheduled to return to the office on 28 March, though the company has offered remote work alternatives to others.

Staff members were frustrated upon hearing the news, according to seven employees who spoke on condition of anonymity to the New York Times.

Many complained in the comments section of the post announcing the changes, said a few employees who saw the post. Some asked if Meta planned on compensating employees in other ways and whether the company had undertaken an employee survey to see how the new changes would affect the workforce.

In response to the changes, Meta said that it would be increasing its employees’ wellness stipend from $700 to $3,000 this year. The current stipend covers costs related to physical or mental health, financial planning, and care for children, older people and pets.

Meta’s chief technology officer, Andrew Bosworth, defended the changes and criticized the sense of entitlement in the comments, according to the employees.

One employee from Meta’s food service team criticized those who said the comments would harm Meta’s workplace culture, according to two other employees.

“I can honestly say when our peers are cramming three to 10 to-go boxes full of steak to take them home, nobody cares about our culture,” the employee wrote. “A decision was made to try and curb some of the abuse while eliminating six million to-go boxes.”

The employee’s comment quickly racked up support from co-workers and became the most-liked comment in the thread by midday Friday.

A Meta spokesperson told the New York Times that the changes reflected the various needs of the company’s hybrid workforce.

“As we return to the office, we’ve adjusted on-site services and amenities to better reflect the needs of our hybrid workforce… We believe people and teams will be increasingly distributed in the future, and we’re committed to building an experience that helps everyone be successful,” the spokesperson said.

In February, Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, unveiled changes at the company as it pivots to the metaverse, a still mostly hypothetical virtual world accessed by virtual and augmented reality technology.

In addition to various new slogans and internal branding changes such as renaming its News Feed to simply “Feed”, Zuckerberg said he would be calling employees “metamates”.

Despite Zuckerberg’s confidence in the shift, the company took a historic plunge last month following its most recent earnings report and its revelation that it had experienced its first ever drop in daily user numbers.

Meta shares fell by 26.4% in one day in February, one of the biggest one-day losses in history for a US company. The slump resulted in Zuckerberg’s personal wealth falling by nearly $30bn.

The company also reported a rare decline in profit due to a sharp increase in expenses as it invests in various metaverse projects.