To mitigate the continued spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook is cancelling all physical events with 50 or more people through June 2021, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday. Additionally, he said, the vast majority of Facebook's workforce will continue working from home at least through the end of May.
"Most Facebook employees are fortunate to be able to work productively from home, so we feel a responsibility to allow people who don't have this flexibility to access shared public resources first," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post.
Facebook had already canceled this year's F8 developer conference, previously scheduled for ealy May. Now it may have to cancel next year's F8 as well. Oculus Connect, the company's annual VR conference, is shifting to a digital format.
Since the outbreak began, a whole slew of technology conferences worlwide have been canceled. Like Facebook, Microsoft made the decision to cancel all large physical events through June 2021. The disruption may permanently change the nature of technology events all together.
While most of Facebook's employees can work remotely, a small percentage may return to the office early, Zuckerberg noted. He specifically cited content reviewers working on counter-terrorism or suicide and self-harm prevention, as well as engineers working on complex hardware.
Meanwhile, employees who don't feel comfortable returning to the office in June will be able to work from home through at least the summer, he said.