Work from home salaries getting cut

Chew Toy McCoy

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At least if you work for Google. Like I said in a related thread, doesn’t make much sense for an employer to pay everybody the same regardless of where they live. It will be interesting to see if this will have an impact on how people feel about going to an office.
 

Thomas Veil

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I don't get this.

With employees working remotely, Google is already enjoying savings it would otherwise spend on office space.

If it were merely a matter of, "Oh, we can cut your salary a bit because you don't need to pay for downtown parking anymore," it would be sort of understandable. But that's not the standard here; distance is.

Are people who do work in Google's offices subject to the same standard? It doesn't sound as if they drive the same hour distance to get home, they're going to take a cut.
 
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Google is already enjoying savings it would otherwise spend on office space
Is it though? The biggest expense is real estate and they're still paying for that.

I get where they're coming from as well. They're paying some folk over $200k for jobs that elsewhere would be $100k.

You pay a premium to have local people to offset the increased cost of living. My salary for example is more than we paid for our house because we brought somewhere cheap in an already comparatively cheap city.

In CA that $200K might be enough to be the same as a down payment for a similar sort of house - and that's before all the other living expenses kick in.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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With employees working remotely, Google is already enjoying savings it would otherwise spend on office space.

When I worked at Cisco Systems back in the early 00's, despite the success and rapid growth they chose to not build a connected mega campus. Instead they built many modest 2 - 3 story buildings and nothing about them screamed "Cisco Systems!". They did this because they realized down the road they may need to downsize and it's a lot easier to sublease or sell a bunch of generic office buildings. I don't think we can say the same of Apple's mega spaceship campus, and there's probably something similar going on with Google and Facebook.

I think this proves all the more that tech’s interest in work/life balance has only been lip service. To them work/life balance just meant trying to recreate some of the conveniences and interests of home at the office so that you’ll never have to leave the office. Need to eat? Here’s a food court. Like to ride your bike? Here’s some bikes to ride around the campus. Tired? Here’s a nap room/pod. Like to play video games? Here’s some arcade games and a game room. Need to dry clean your clothes or wash your car? We’ll have services come in to do that for you too.

Not to marginalize manufacturing conditions, but some of it does seem like a high pay sweat shop. And while you may not need the work just to put basic food on the table, you still need it to survive of keep up with the local cost of living and once you set that standard you can’t downgrade your pay. It may not be throwing yourself off a tall building, but people have committed suicide related to tech industry work stress, even at least one on Apple’s main corporate campus.
 

MEJHarrison

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Is it though? The biggest expense is real estate and they're still paying for that.

My company is still paying for office space too, even though most of us are at home. But heating costs have gone down. Cooling costs too. Electricity usage in general must be down along with water, sewage, trash, internet, phones. Less cleaning staff. Less free coffee, tea, cocoa, napkins, sugar, Splenda, etc. Less toilet paper. The list goes on. Like maintenance and office furniture. They might still be leasing the space, but that doesn't mean costs haven't changed.

I get where they're coming from as well. They're paying some folk over $200k for jobs that elsewhere would be $100k.

So? I work with people who also live about an hour away with commute time (same as the people in the story). I'm on a call with one of them right now. Should they be paid less for living in a different neighborhood? Why should I make more money because I'm only 2 miles away? That's a personal choice we all make. I choose to live locally, pay slightly more and be able to get to work in 5 minutes. Others prefer to live on the other side of town for a myriad of reasons, just one of which is cost. But I can't think of a single reason my zip code should earn me more dollars. Especially with us all at home.
 
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User.191

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My company is still paying for office space too, even though most of us are at home. But heating costs have gone down. Cooling costs too. Electricity usage in general must be down along with water, sewage, trash, internet, phones. Less cleaning staff. Less free coffee, tea, cocoa, napkins, sugar, Splenda, etc. Less toilet paper. The list goes on. Like maintenance and office furniture. They might still be leasing the space, but that doesn't mean costs haven't changed.



So? I work with people who also live about an hour away with commute time (same as the people in the story). I'm on a call with one of them right now. Should they be paid less for living in a different neighborhood? Why should I make more money because I'm only 2 miles away? That's a personal choice we all make. I choose to live locally, pay slightly more and be able to get to work in 5 minutes. Others prefer to live on the other side of town for a myriad of reasons, just one of which is cost. But I can't think of a single reason my zip code should earn me more dollars. Especially with us all at home.
2 miles? No, but if you work for Google or Facebook in CA, then moved to somewhere in the cheap MidWest then yes, salaries should be vastly different.

Not heard of anyone giving different pay just because they're a few miles away. Everything I've read thus far has been where they move States.

If you've anything to show otherwise then I'd be delighted to read it.
 

MEJHarrison

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2 miles? No, but if you work for Google or Facebook in CA, then moved to somewhere in the cheap MidWest then yes, salaries should be vastly different.

Not heard of anyone giving different pay just because they're a few miles away. Everything I've read thus far has been where they move States.

If you've anything to show otherwise then I'd be delighted to read it.

How about the second paragraph from the article in the first post:

"Screenshots obtained by Reuters show that Google employees who previously commuted an hour to Google’s Manhattan offices from nearby Stamford, Conn., for example, would see their salaries slashed by 15 percent if they choose to continue working from home."

I work with people who live on the other side of town and when they drove in before the pandemic, it took them roughly about an hour. My new boss lives about an hour and half away. Some of them are even coming to Portland OR from nearby Vancouver WA and that can absolutely be an hour long drive. How is that different than the scenario described above? Thus my comment about getting paid more (or not less) because I only live 2 miles away.

That aside, I don't even agree with someone living in the mid-west. You can't pay someone more because of skin color, age, race, religion, politics, gender, etc, so why is it ok to discriminate based on location? If two people are giving the same value to the company, shouldn't they be compensated the same? The fact that one has chosen to live in a far off location shouldn't be part of the equation. That's just an excuse by the company keep more money in their own coffers. And if you want to keep pushing that approach, why not fire all the local talent and outsource to a completely different country where you can really drive down costs?
 
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so why is it ok to discriminate based on location
Because it makes total sense. As a hiring manager if I go to my CEO and tell them I need someone with skills X, Y & Z, then I'm going to be given a range of $n to $n+n1 for salary. So in Cincinnati I may be looking at $90K for a DBA.

An exact same DBA living in San Francisco would cost probably double that because their cost of living is significantly higher. I'm not going to pay $180K for a DBA based in Cincinnati just because they could get $180K living in San Francisco!

The same ting applies - you'd pay $180K in CA for a local DBA because that's the going rate for a local DBA. If I'm based in CA and am willing to settle for a remote DBA based anywhere then I will absolutely pay rates appropriate for that area.

And if I'm now employing the DBA in CA for $180K and they want to move to Cincinnati, then damn right I'd look at dropping the salary significantly - I'd be expected to by the business because again, how is it fair that just because they moved that their take home is now much much much higher than a similar employee who stayed in CA?

Salary is salary. It's hardly fair to pay $180K to a Cincinnati based DBA when I'm only paying $100K for a Senior DBA here, just because of California.
Screenshots obtained by Reuters show that Google employees who previously commuted an hour to Google’s Manhattan offices from nearby Stamford, Conn., for example, would see their salaries slashed by 15 percent if they choose to continue working from home.
Yeah, no, I don't agree with that.
 

MEJHarrison

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Because it makes total sense. As a hiring manager if I go to my CEO and tell them I need someone with skills X, Y & Z, then I'm going to be given a range of $n to $n+n1 for salary. So in Cincinnati I may be looking at $90K for a DBA.

An exact same DBA living in San Francisco would cost probably double that because their cost of living is significantly higher. I'm not going to pay $180K for a DBA based in Cincinnati just because they could get $180K living in San Francisco!

The same ting applies - you'd pay $180K in CA for a local DBA because that's the going rate for a local DBA. If I'm based in CA and am willing to settle for a remote DBA based anywhere then I will absolutely pay rates appropriate for that area.

And if I'm now employing the DBA in CA for $180K and they want to move to Cincinnati, then damn right I'd look at dropping the salary significantly - I'd be expected to by the business because again, how is it fair that just because they moved that their take home is now much much much higher than a similar employee who stayed in CA?

Salary is salary. It's hardly fair to pay $180K to a Cincinnati based DBA when I'm only paying $100K for a Senior DBA here, just because of California.

Those are new hires. That's trickier.

Keep in mind these are existing employees, already living where they're living and now Google wants to drop their salaries. And for the absurd reason that they're working from home. These are pay-cuts.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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How about the second paragraph from the article in the first post:

"Screenshots obtained by Reuters show that Google employees who previously commuted an hour to Google’s Manhattan offices from nearby Stamford, Conn., for example, would see their salaries slashed by 15 percent if they choose to continue working from home."

I work with people who live on the other side of town and when they drove in before the pandemic, it took them roughly about an hour. My new boss lives about an hour and half away. Some of them are even coming to Portland OR from nearby Vancouver WA and that can absolutely be an hour long drive. How is that different than the scenario described above? Thus my comment about getting paid more (or not less) because I only live 2 miles away.

That aside, I don't even agree with someone living in the mid-west. You can't pay someone more because of skin color, age, race, religion, politics, gender, etc, so why is it ok to discriminate based on location? If two people are giving the same value to the company, shouldn't they be compensated the same? The fact that one has chosen to live in a far off location shouldn't be part of the equation. That's just an excuse by the company keep more money in their own coffers. And if you want to keep pushing that approach, why not fire all the local talent and outsource to a completely different country where you can really drive down costs?

I don’t think it has anything to do with commute time. It has to do with cost of living. People move further away because the cost of living is cheaper. The only related thing I could see people being outraged about is “for what I pay in rent here, I could buy a house there”. So they moved there, bought a house, and still have the same overall expenses but are getting more for their money. In that scenario a wage cut would be a big deal. They didn’t lower their cost of living by moving further away.

As far as “why should they pay somebody less based on where they live?”, why should somebody doing the same job be able to have a vastly better cost of living than somebody who is living conveniently close to the employer? It goes both ways and in the bigger picture formerly reasonable cost of living areas are already complaining about the migrationg of high paid remote tech workers driving up the cost of living for everybody else.
 

MEJHarrison

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I guess you haven't called tech support lately. :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:

No, but for a few years we had a mixed model at work. We kept who we had, but used people from India to augment us. Now we're back to the original group. It wasn't all a bad experience, but there were problems with that model as well.

But yeah, tech support is one way (my opinion) for the company to keep more dollars as opposed to giving the best service possible to their customers. I think it's all about greed. It's not like they pass those savings on to their employees in the form of pay raises. Not to the peons of course.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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Those are new hires. That's trickier.

Keep in mind these are existing employees, already living where they're living and now Google wants to drop their salaries. And for the absurd reason that they're working from home. These are pay-cuts.

I think we’re losing the script here. If we’re talking about pre-pandemic employees then just go back to the office like you were already doing before covid. No pay cut. Problem solved.
 
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Those are new hires. That's trickier.

Keep in mind these are existing employees, already living where they're living and now Google wants to drop their salaries. And for the absurd reason that they're working from home. These are pay-cuts.
Now, bear in mind I've agreed with your issue with hyper localized employees becoming just work from - mand I'm not totally in favor of that unless there are other reasons (e.g. where employees were being paid extra to offset travel, parking etc.).

That said, if I have a local DBA that I'm paying $90K and they decide to move to San Fransisco to work remotely - then it's our choice first if we are willing to go for a fully remote employee. If we do then I can tell you something for nothing - there's roughly a zero percent chance we'd be paying them extra because of this.

If an employee moves voluntarily then they need to assume all the risks and responsibilities. It's not up to me to have to tell another employee I have to fire them because I can't afford both them, and the n ewly moved employee who's now costing me double.

If I was on the West Coast though I could have an employee move to the midwest, pay them less AND get a second remote employee as well - double my buck.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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That said, if I have a local DBA that I'm paying $90K and they decide to move to San Fransisco to work remotely - then it's our choice first if we are willing to go for a fully remote employee. If we do then I can tell you something for nothing - there's roughly a zero percent chance we'd be paying them extra because of this.

That's a good point from the opposite side of the coin.

My company branch in the Bay Area has the highest salaries in the company. My coworker was interested in moving to our Auburn, WA branch to do the exact same job. He was interested until he found out that meant a 20k pay cut. He just stayed put....no big outrage media campaign or hashtags about it.
 
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That's a good point from the opposite side of the coin.

My company branch in the Bay Area has the highest salaries in the company. My coworker was interested in moving to our Auburn, WA branch to do the exact same job. He was interested until he found out that meant a 20k pay cut. He just stayed put....no big outrage media campaign or hashtags about it.
It's all fun and games until you're the one metaphorically cutting the checks. Being in management ain't fun when you have to deal with salaries...
 

Alli

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When the pandemic closed down NYC, my daughter’s company sent everyone to WFH. About 6 months in they decided it was working really well and they got rid of their office. She then asked that since no one was ever going to return to an office, if they cared where she was. They said no and she moved to FL. Eight months later, she accepted a new position and started a new job with a company this week doing the same thing. The big difference is this company has been WFH since 2017, well before the pandemic. They offered her more money than she was getting from the old company, which was still paying her based on the business being in NYC.
 

MEJHarrison

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That said, if I have a local DBA that I'm paying $90K and they decide to move to San Fransisco to work remotely - then it's our choice first if we are willing to go for a fully remote employee. If we do then I can tell you something for nothing - there's roughly a zero percent chance we'd be paying them extra because of this.

That's absolutely fair. I wouldn't expect my employer to cover the additional costs should I choose to move to a nicer neighborhood around here any more than I'd expect more pay for moving to a higher priced city.

So let's say you're paying your DBA $90K and you do allow remote workers. Then this employee figures out they can move to Cheapsville USA and save tons of money. Do you drop their salary? It would be completely unfair to take salary away if you're not willing to pay more when the scale tips in the other direction.

Then it gets even more complicated. That employee is still making their $90K there in Cheapsville where their skills are only worth $50K. Their neighbor is the perfect employee for a job opening you have. Do you offer that person $50K or $90K? What's fair now? What if the job pays $80K for managing the guy who's making $90K?

If you allow remote workers, I suspect those are questions that need to be answered. Glad I'm not the one who needs to answer them. If I was, I think I'd just post jobs with fair salaries for where the company is located and leave it to those applying to determine if that's an awesome salary or a crappy salary for where they're located. If someone from Cheapsville wants to apply because it's insanely good money for them, and they're the best candidate, good for them. If someone from Priceyville wants the job, but can't afford to take it, and can't successfully negotiate something acceptable, then that sucks.

That said, I'm just a programmer who's never had to, or wanted to, deal with the complexities of hiring or managing people. I'll happily concede that the realities might be quite different from my hypothetical scenario.
 

SuperMatt

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That's absolutely fair. I wouldn't expect my employer to cover the additional costs should I choose to move to a nicer neighborhood around here any more than I'd expect more pay for moving to a higher priced city.

So let's say you're paying your DBA $90K and you do allow remote workers. Then this employee figures out they can move to Cheapsville USA and save tons of money. Do you drop their salary? It would be completely unfair to take salary away if you're not willing to pay more when the scale tips in the other direction.

Then it gets even more complicated. That employee is still making their $90K there in Cheapsville where their skills are only worth $50K. Their neighbor is the perfect employee for a job opening you have. Do you offer that person $50K or $90K? What's fair now? What if the job pays $80K for managing the guy who's making $90K?

If you allow remote workers, I suspect those are questions that need to be answered. Glad I'm not the one who needs to answer them. If I was, I think I'd just post jobs with fair salaries for where the company is located and leave it to those applying to determine if that's an awesome salary or a crappy salary for where they're located. If someone from Cheapsville wants to apply because it's insanely good money for them, and they're the best candidate, good for them. If someone from Priceyville wants the job, but can't afford to take it, and can't successfully negotiate something acceptable, then that sucks.

That said, I'm just a programmer who's never had to, or wanted to, deal with the complexities of hiring or managing people. I'll happily concede that the realities might be quite different from my hypothetical scenario.
The military pays the same base pay for your rank no matter where you’re assigned. But they have a housing allowance that changes depending on where you are stationed.
 
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