Facebook parent company Meta ends its free laundry perk

The return to the office means a lot of things to a lot of people: the end of video calls for a scattered workforce, a scramble by working parents to secure child care, the stress of jumping back into a daily commute during an ongoing pandemic.

Then there’s one Silicon Valley tech worker who just wants their clothes washed.

The Meta employee vented their frustrations in a post last week on Blind, an anonymous corporate message board with verified members.

Under the pseudonym “luvlaundry,” the poster published an item titled “Meta cutting benefits ruthlessly:( :(” outlining their discontent over the loss of some of the perks they once enjoyed at the Facebook parent company’s campus.

For one, they said, Meta pushed its dinner time back to 6:30 p.m., and the to-go boxes they once used to bring food home for their kids were removed from the company cafeteria. But their biggest gripe was the cut to laundry service.

“Laundry benefit GONE. I have been using laundry benefit and love that cleaners come home, pick up stuff and bring it back,” the employee wrote. “Such a helpful one where clothes are folded and I don’t have to worry much and focus that time for my axis work. Why, why WHY??”

The poster said their total compensation, which includes salary, benefits and stock options, took a $200,000 hit because of a stock crash — falling to $850,000. Last month, Meta shares took the worst dive in stock market history, plummeting 26% in a day and wiping out more than $230 billion in market capitalization.

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

The anonymous employee also lamented the fact that child-care reimbursements were already cut.

Meta said it was increasing its investment in other services but did not elaborate on what those services are.

Meta employees are scheduled to return to offices March 28. But for many Americans, the pandemic never meant a transition to working from home.

A U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey conducted between July and September 2020 found that 31% of private-sector employers increased their telework offerings because of COVID-19. But rates varied widely across industries; more than 50% of businesses in the educational services, finance, insurance and information sectors increased telework, while less than 10% of employers in agriculture and food services did so.

And while Facebook headed into the metaverse last year, the real world grappled with burnout from the pandemic. Roughly 48 million employees quit their jobs last year, and in January 2022, nearly 4.3 million did the same, according to federal job data.

Meta employees might be dissatisfied with the loss of some of their perks and plunging stock values, but the ball is in their court. Between July and September last year, 31% of IT workers sought a new job as employers sought to entice tech talent during one of the hottest labor markets in decades, according to a recent analysis from research firm Gartner.

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