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Facebook employees criticizing the rollback of perks are blasted as freeloaders who ‘don’t care about company culture’

March 14, 2022, 5:12 PM UTC

Complaining Facebook employees were hit with a hard reality check after an announcement that their legendary office freebies were being rolled back was initially met with discontent.

Facebook’s parent company, Meta, told employees on Friday that it was getting rid of free services like laundry and dry cleaning in the office and planned on pushing back the free dinner offering from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., as first reported by the New York Times.

At Meta, employees are scheduled to return to the Silicon Valley offices in two weeks’ time on Mar. 28, but unlike other companies in the financial sectors, the company is gearing up for a new hybrid work model between the office and home.

The changes were announced in an online group seen by all Meta employees, and workers were quick to criticize the changes, with some asking if they would be compensated for the changes in office culture.

Others, including an employee from Meta’s food service team, were quick to quip back.

“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 said, according to the New York Times.

“A decision was made to try and curb some of the abuse while eliminating six million to-go boxes.”

That comment proved to hit the right note among a large section of the company and quickly became the most-liked comment in the thread by midday on Friday.

As part of the cutting of perks, Meta is hoping to quell the outrage with an increased wellness stipends from roughly $700 to $3,000.

According to reports, Meta’s chief technology officer Andrew Bosworth and outgoing chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer both pushed back on the comments criticizing the announcement.

“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.

“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.”

Meta’s culture swing

Meta’s culture has been rocked in the past couple of months.

Tides first changed for Facebook when former employee Frances Haugen accused Facebook of disregarding user safety in the pursuit of profit in October 2021. Haugen has since called for the resignation of CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Soon after the allegations surfaced, Facebook decided it was the perfect time to rebrand under a new company called Meta and reorganize itself around a new offering: an immersive online virtual world known as the metaverse.

In the reorganization, there have been reports that employees who were not willing to get on board with Zuckerberg’s vision for the metaverse felt pushed out of the company.

The vision of the metaverse came to reality when the company reported a decline in fourth-quarter profit in its Feb. 2 earnings after unexpectedly heavy spending on the metaverse project, which led to a 22% stock plunge.

The latest series of headaches has been Meta’s battle with Russia in the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Russia banned access to Meta’s Facebook on Mar. 4, after the country’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor said Facebook was discriminating against Russian state-run and state-funded media outlets.

Russia then canceled Instagram’s access to the country on Monday, Mar. 14, after Meta said social media users in Ukraine could post messages such as “Death to the Russian invaders.”

Meta later clarified that it is against the company’s user rules to share a post that “calls for the death of a head of state,” referencing—though not naming—Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

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