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Facebook workers will return to a very different kind of office

Facebook employees will experience a very different kind of office setup when they start returning to their workplace in early July. Staff have been working from home since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In what could mirror similar changes at company offices around the world until the threat of the virus passes, Facebook is set to carry out daily temperature checks on employees when they arrive for work, sources with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.

In addition, extra shifts will likely be introduced so that fewer people are in the office at any one time, a measure designed to keep the office at just 25% occupancy.

A space of six feet will be placed between workstations to limit close contact, and employees will be asked to wear face masks if they’re unable to socially distance.

In other measures, fewer people than before will be permitted to take part in face-to-face meetings, and visitors will likely be prohibited from entering the site for the foreseeable future.

Lunchtime buffets will also be off the menu as employees will be asked to purchase set meals instead.

Facebook, like many other businesses, allowed most of its 45,000 employees to work from home as a way to reduce person-to-person contact to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said recently that if any of his company’s employees feel they can’t return to their office in July due to their personal circumstances, then they can continue to work from home through at least the summer. Since then, however, reports have suggested the time frame has been extended to the end of the year.

Facebook asked its staff to work from home in mid-March as the virus began to take hold in parts of the U.S. In the middle of that month, the social networking company offered each of its full-time employees a $1,000 bonus as part of support efforts during the crisis.

Its decision to impose new rules could offer a taste of things to come for other employees around the world waiting to return to work, and highlights just one of the many ways in which the virus is impacting our lives.

Tech firms were quick to embrace home working in response to the virus, with some now seeing it as the way forward. Twitter, for example, recently told some of its workers that they can work from home “forever” if they wish to do so.

Apple, which also sent its office-based employees home, has the added challenge of considering how to operate its retail stores in these changing times. This week it revealed that Apple Store staff and customers will be required to wear masks and maintain social distancing, among other measures.

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