Facebook has joined other social media giants in saying up to half of its 45,000 employees will be allowed to work from home in the future.

Chief Executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said the company will make the changes in the next five to 10 years after staff reported equal levels of productivity while working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Zuckerberg, 36, said the company would be ‘the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale’ in a video streamed live on Facebook.

The announcement comes after Twitter told its 5,000 employees, including those at its London office, it would be their decision on whether they want to return to the office once they reopen. 

He said: “This is fundamentally about changing our culture in the way that we all are going to work long-term.

“I just think Covid is going to be with us for a while to come. The reality is that I don’t think we wake up one day on January 1 and nobody has any more concerns about this,” he said.

Mr Zuckerberg said the company will change its hiring policy to include more remote employees across the United States, rather than just those who live near its offices.

He said: “When you limit hiring to people who either live in a small number of big cities or are willing to move there, that cuts out a lot of people who live in different communities, different backgrounds or may have different perspectives.”

Around 95 per cent of Facebook employees are working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic with a survey finding staff feel just as productive.

Trainees and staff in hardware, policy, sales, Human Resource and legal affairs are still expected to report to the office, reported The Times.

Other social media giants such as google have allowed most employees to work remotely until the end of the year.

Twitter announced on May 12 that employees who are remotely working during the pandemic can do so permanently when offices reopen if they prefer.