Employee parking is 'impossible' to find at Facebook's campus

Chief Tech Correspondent
Yahoo Finance
The sign at the entrance to Facebook’s sprawling headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
The sign at the entrance to Facebook’s sprawling headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

With nearly 25,000 employees worldwide, and plans to hire thousands more this year alone, Facebook (FB) continues to rapidly scale in ways many other Silicon Valley firms only aspire to. But one area that remains relatively stagnant for the social network is employee parking.

The company has beefed up its headcount so much over the past 12 months that employees are having a hard time finding parking at Facebook’s 57-acre Menlo Park, Calif. campus. In the fourth quarter of 2017,  the company added 1,900 employees, bringing Facebook’s total employee headcount to nearly 25,100 — up 47% from a year earlier. Several Facebook employees told Yahoo Finance that they routinely drive around the company’s parking lots for at least 30 minutes before finding a spot. In some cases, they don’t even find parking so they rely on alternative transportation methods such as carpooling or the Facebook shuttle instead.

The parking problem is evident just by perusingFacebook employee reviews on jobs site Glassdoor, where several reviewers list the social network’s pros but also complain about how the company just can’t keep up, infrastructure-wise, with all the hiring. Some employees who have worked for Facebook for several years also note that when they first joined the company they were able to easily find a parking space near the building they work. 

Source: Glassdoor.com
Source: Glassdoor.com

“It wasn’t an issue when I first started working at Facebook, but with so many employees now — and more and more coming in — it can be impossible to find a space,” said a Facebook employee.

To get around the problem, employees are catching one of the free Facebook shuttles that operate daily from San Francisco to Menlo Park or carpooling. 

Another Facebook employee told Yahoo Finance they’re frequently still able to find parking at Facebook headquarters after driving around for 20-40 minutes. The spot, however, is usually several buildings down from the building they work at — the equivalent of several hundred yards, at times. The Menlo Park campus is made up of at least 24 buildings. 

“It’s not the end of the world, but sometimes it’s a 10-minute walk from my car to my desk, which can be frustrating, because that wasn’t always the case,” that employee acknowledged to Yahoo Finance.

Employees say they have complained to Facebook management about the parking problem, but Facebook has not outlined any plans for addressing them.

Facebook declined to comment.

Despite the complaints, Facebook remains one of the most attractive employers in Silicon Valley.  Facebook ranked No. 1 on Glassdoor’s 100 Best Places to Work in 2018” list, which ranks companies based entirely on reviews that employees post to Glassdoor. This year, the social network surpassed tech giant Google (GOOG, GOOGL) once again, which ranked No. 5.

Many Facebook employee reviews on Glassdoor’s site explain the advantages of working at the social network: “relatively good work-life balance,” an open and transparent work culture, and the opportunity to work alongside smart colleagues they can learn from. The social network also offers very competitive salaries — the average Facebook software engineer earns $127,281 a year — alongside comprehensive benefits and perks, including four months of paid parental leave for new mothers and fathers, $4,000 doled out to parents for each child birth, subsidies for pre-school tuition and lots of free food.

And while parking at Facebook headquarters may be a challenge, that may improve once Facebook opens its new Willow Village campus, adjacent to the company’s current headquarters, in 2021. The ambitious project promises to further transform the surrounding Menlo Park area with another 1.75 million square feet of office space, 126,500 square feet of retail space, at least 1,500 housing units, 200 hotel rooms, and — yes — 3,000 additional office parking spots.

Still, three years may be a long time to wait for some employees angling for parking here and now.

JP Mangalindan is the Chief Tech Correspondent for Yahoo Finance covering the intersection of tech and business. Email story tips and musings to jpm@oath.com. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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