Facebook, the employer?

Facebook here, Facebook there, Facebook everywhere!
Yes, I know you are annoyed of reading more about Facebook. But this might be new to you: Like Alex and Fenja talked about it in their last post, we use its services constantly and it has become essential to our everyday lives.  However, I guess that nobody ever thinks of Facebook as a company and employer.

I was initially confronted with this topic as my fellow student Conny told me about labor conditions in companies like Facebook and Google. Immediately, my interest was aroused and I started researching.
To form the basis of your understanding, I’d like to share the following general information about Facebook Inc. with you:

  • Foundation year: 2004
  • Employees: 1860
  • Revenue (yearly): 3,7 bn
  • Headquarter: Menlo Parc, California U.S. (Sillicon Valley)

Stressed but happy!

Facebook Inc. is for most of the young, technically-skilled people an attractive and highly desirable entrepreneur. Due to a report by the Seattle-based research firm Payscale, Facebook’s employees are the youngest, most satisfied and most stressed in comparision amongst employees from other U.S. technological. Furthermore, the median age among Facebook’s employees is 26 which is rather young in comparision to a median age of 36 in similar companies.

“With a CEO who is 27, it is not surprising to find many who work at Facebook are young, excited to work there and a little stressed out,” said Al Lee, director of quantitative analysis at PayScale

Also the gender proportions are not as expected: Facebook employs only those technological nerds that are mostly male. No! With an outstanding 33% portion of female workers, the concern has the hightest portion among 9 of the industry’s top businesses. Facebook’s attractiveness is further emphasized by its proposition of work conditions: Due to an answer on the question-and-answer website “Quora”, Facebook’s employees have about 21 paid vacation days. This is above-average comparing to other big U.S. companies.

Facebook, the dream factory

Some people working for Facebook might look into a bright future: As the financial situation of Facebook has not always been that good as today, it paid its employees in the beginning rather with stocks than with money. What no employee could predict in the early stages: If Facebook goes public on the 18th May 2012, the independent press agency “Peninsulina Press” estimates that about one third of the employees will become millionares. Those newly rich workers are already connected with the nick name “millionerds”. Even the grafitti artist who painted the logo for facebook’s headquater would profit from Facebook’s initial public offering: As payment for his work he had to choose between money and stocks. He took the stocks. Fortunately, those stocks might get an estimated worth of 200 millions after going public.

Flexible team structures

Facebook Inc. is a company using outstandingly flexible teamwork structures. According to the website Allfacebook.com, Facebook provides its employees with the opportunity to transfer easily among different teams to avoid burnout and garner fresh experience. More flexibility means less boredom by constant new challenges.  On a relating discussion on Quorae, an employee of Facebook describes the “hack-a-month” in which “engineers who have been on the same team for a while transfer to a different team for a month and work on something that’s bounded enough to finish in that amount of time. Sometimes (not the majority of the time, but a significant portion) those people elect to stay with their new teams afterwards.” In my opinion, a constantly changing team work system providing a continuous sharing of ideas is vital for a succesful company with satisfied employees.

Happy big family?

Just something funny I found on the web: As a an employee couple at Facebook decided to marry, founder Mark Zuckerberg and a dozen past-and-present Facebook indispensables went to a beach in India for a week-long celebration during Facebook’s “christmas break”. Everyone including Zuckerberg were pompously costumed and happily celebrating.

If you are young and long for happiness and stress: Work for Facebook!


4 responses to “Facebook, the employer?

  1. Hey Nicole,
    first of all congratulations to your blogpost. In fact I thought I know enough about Facebook and I was very surprised how your post caught my attention. Indeed, you found some very catchy information. I did not know that the employees were paid with stocks rather than money. Lucky guys!
    Furthermore, your post is very well structured which makes it easy to read through.
    The only thing I can criticize is your choice of your heading. It could have been more catchy, without the little paragraph I read I probably would not have klicked on the “read more” button. But other than that, I am looking forward to your next post 🙂

  2. Hey NIcole,
    I have to agree with Mai: Great Job! You are totally right, I never think of Facebook as an employer. Also, it was very neatly done how you linked you blog to Fenja’s and mine, great technical skill! Your text is very easy to follow, but still in a matter-of-fact and detailed kind of way. I don’t want to be a pessimist, but maybe you could have dug out some criticism on facebook as an employer to provide a broader view of the subject. You already hinted at the employees being stressed out more than others – maybe there is a story behind that? But to have a facebook stock, I would take on a lot of stress, too! 😉
    I bet your next topic will be just as interesting and I am looking forward to read it!

  3. Hi Nicole,
    Great post!! All articles and blog posts I have read so far were mostly concerned about the dangers and disadvantages of Facebook. However, you are the first (well, at least for me) that writes about Facebook as a company and employer. The most interesting part of your post was the information about flexible team structures that Facebook uses. It is amazing that they even consider the possibility of burnout and are trying to avoid it. Moreover, it is fantastic that you can share your ideas with different teams and also get to know the ideas of other individuals. This also reminded me a lot on the two texts we have to read until next week. Although, there isn’t mentioned the system of changing the team but rather solve the emerging conflicts within the team. Now, I find it difficult to decide which structure is better. For me personally, it’s probably the flexible team structure. Although, I must say that if I find a great team I probably wouldn’t change it.
    Thanks for the post!!

  4. Pingback: F like… « berlinlcalling·

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