Dirty Laundry at Meta Signals a Changing Culture

The perks of working in Silicon Valley are lessening but not vanishing
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2022 11:30 AM CDT
Meta Engineer Is Now Forced to Do Own Laundry
   (Getty - ~UserGI15613517)

Mark Zuckerberg and Meta can act as low-hanging fruit to anyone who likes to disparage tech billionaires and their empires. Sometimes, employees are also easy picking, thanks to compensation and benefits that may seem lavish to many Americans. Consider the Meta engineer who took to the anonymous professional network Blind to lament the loss of the company's complimentary laundry service. Per SFGate, the post sparked snickers like, "zuck will fold the clothes himself for you." A Meta spokesperson added context: "As we return to the office, we’ve adjusted on-site services and amenities to better reflect the needs of our hybrid workforce."

With COVID restrictions easing, some Meta employees will return to the office March 28; others will continue working from home, and some will split time between the two. As the New York Times reports, the laundry-perk loss is "a warning shot for employees at other companies," and one example of a "changing workplace culture in Silicon Valley." Then again, the Times also notes that Meta has more than quadrupled employees’ wellness stipends from about $700 to $3,000 in response to some of the in-office perks that have been eliminated.

That blind item was posted in March—by, it should be noted, an engineer who gives their total compensation as $850,000—but it comes on the heels of this CNBC report from January that pointed out Meta fell from No. 11 to 47 on Glassdoor’s ranking of best places to work. In reviews, employees complained about "unwanted public scrutiny, lack of action from leadership on platform issues, and questions about the company’s future direction." At the time, "extensive benefits" were among the positives keeping the company from falling further down the list. (Read more Meta stories.)

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