Facebook Employees Reveal 16 Awful Things About Working At Facebook

Illustration: Ellis HamburgerMark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

Facebook has often been regarded as one of the best places to work in the tech industry.

After all, their interns make $US25,000 more than the average citizen.

And famously, employees on Glassdoor voted Facebook the No.1 best company to work for overall.

Not bad, right?

Wrong, according to some Facebook employees, both past and present, in an open thread on Quora.

Skip straight to the list »

Various engineers, software developers, and anonymous sources from Facebook’s front lines divulge the details about the worst things about working for the social network.

From the lack of office professionalism (tasked to fold the boss’s laundry?) to complaints of Mark Zuckerberg’s “holier than thou” attitude, we’ve rounded up some of the most interesting details.

To be clear, we’re not saying these complaints represent the average experience. These are just the opinions of a small number of individuals.

Every large company has its detractors, including Facebook. Here’s what they have to say.

'For six weeks out of the year, I'm on 24/7 on-call duty.'

During on-call duty, engineers are responsible for keeping the service up and running, come what may. 'For those weeks I don't leave town on the weekend; make especially sure not to have 'one too many' at any social gatherings I attend; and most importantly, carry and immediately respond to a charged phone where I can be reached 24/7, including leaving the ringer on on the nightstand as I sleep.' - Keith Adams, Facebook engineer.

'The wall does not exist at Facebook.'

'At most companies, you put up a wall between a work personality and a personal one, which ends up with a professional workspace,' says a Facebook engineer who chose to remain anonymous on Quora. Because the culture of Facebook implicitly encourages employees to 'be themselves,' the company lacks the 'professionalism' found at other firms, the engineer says.

'There is not a truly functional infrastructure.'

Employees say that trying to figure out how to do cool things with a team of 4,000 people is much harder than doing them with a team of 500.

'We're growing so fast and have never emphasised organisation, polish, or stability.'

'You won't be making millions or building a new exciting company of your own.'

Just because you're working for a cool company still means you're working. In this case, you're working to fulfil someone else's dream.

'I was asked to complete really inappropriate tasks.'

One anonymous former employee of Facebook confessed, 'The team treated me like garbage and I was asked to (do) really inappropriate tasks (i.e. separating the director's laundry complete with his wife's dirty undies still attached).'

'Knowing that you are part of an overhyped public company.'

Facebook, which was 'supposed to be valued at over $US200 billion by now, had a dismal public offering that left many employees feeling totally helpless as they saw the value of their stock collapse,' an anonymous source wrote on Quora.

'Forget the free food and drinks - the workplace is awful.'

'When you have huge rooms filled with rows and rows of picnic style tables with people sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with six inches of separation and zero privacy, I am sorry.... That's how you keep cattle in the pen, not high quality talent earning low to mid six figures.'

'Zuck is TOO involved.'

Instead of interfacing with the public and investors, Mark Zuckerberg still spends the majority of his time planning upcoming products, talking with engineers, and developing the strategy, Philip Su writes.

'This is a complete misappropriation of time. His job should be pumping up the stock price externally, not building stuff.'

'The drama.'

But Su admits that politics and mutual suspicion are ultimately what creates the dynamism and drama that make work worthwhile.

'Without these, it's just code, code, code. Ship, ship, ship. I get tired just thinking about it.'

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