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Meta employees say goodbye to perks like on-site laundry

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Meta employees scheduled to return to the office on March 28th will have to find another place to take their dirty laundry. Facebook’s parent company is cutting its free laundry and dry-cleaning service and pushing back dinnertime to a later hour, reported the New York Times. It’s a change in response to the new hybrid work schedule at Meta, where most employees will still be working from home at least a few days of week. Fewer time in the office equals fewer office perks, or at least that’s the logic of Meta leadership. But for many employees at Facebook, Instagram, Reality Labs and other Meta companies, it’s an unwelcome hassle at what is normally a grueling work environment.

“As we return to the office, we’ve adjusted on-site services and amenities to better reflect the needs of our hybrid workforce,” a Meta spokesperson wrote in a statement to the Times.

Meta will also begin serving dinner at 6:30 pm PT, a full half-hour after the last shuttle departs campus. Meaning that employees will have to choose between a free meal or a free ride home. Decisions, decisions! While some Meta employees interviewed by NYT are unhappy about the change, many others have seen such perks as a ploy to keep employees working long hours.

Tech companies are famous for providing incredible office perks to compensate for a strenuous workload, such as free meals, laundry, fitness classes, backup childcare and more. But a shift to a hybrid work environment means fewer employees will be in need of these things. To Meta’s credit, the company is fattening up annual employee wellness stipends — from $700 to $3000 per year — to account for the change.

At least for Meta’s Mountain View employees, free, unlimited food was already a thing of the past. After Google and Meta’s free, round-the-clock food service for employees left local businesses in the dust, the city passed an ordinance that banned tech companies from offering unlimited free food. But Facebook’s other Bay Area offices have access to free meals, as well as an unlimited snack larder if you get hungry between mealtimes. According to Eater, Facebook’s Bay Area office routinely stores about $300,000 worth of food in its snack pantry.

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