Google employees who choose to work from home could see pay cuts based on where they live

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,518   +132
Staff member
A hot potato: Google employees that choose to work from home permanently could see a reduction in pay based on where they reside. In some instances, the pay cut is quite significant, with one person expecting a 15 percent decrease in salary if they decided to work remotely.

Reuters was the first to report on the matter, noting that Google is unique in that it offers employees a calculator that lets them see how their pay would be impacted by a move.

One Google employee that works at the Seattle office told the publication that they were considering remote work as they have a two-hour commute. According to estimates from Google’s Work Location Tool, however, the person would take a pay cut of about 10 percent by choosing to work from home.

“It's as high of a pay cut as I got for my most recent promotion. I didn't do all that hard work to get promoted to then take a pay cut,” the person said.

Another Google employee living in Stamford, Connecticut, who travels by train to New York City, would be paid 15 percent less to work from home. A co-worker in the same New York City office that lives in town would see no pay cut if they decided to work from home.

Reuters also saw screenshots from others in Boston, Seattle and San Francisco that showed five to 10 percent differences in pay for office work versus remote work.

A spokesperson for Google said their compensation packages have always been determined by location, adding that, “we always pay at the top of the local market based on where an employee works from.”

Google's calculator notes that it uses US Census Bureau metropolitan statistical areas to help calculate pay.

Naturally, not everyone agrees with this policy. Jake Rosenfeld, a sociology professor at Washington University in St. Louis, said it’s clear that Google doesn’t have to do this.

“Google has paid these workers at 100 percent of their prior wage, by definition. So it's not like they can't afford to pay their workers who choose to work remotely the same that they are used to receiving.”

Permalink to story.

 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 499   +837
“we always pay at the top of the local market based on where an employee works from.”

This sounds shady as helI. Just sounds like a way for a company to say FU to their employees and save as much money as they can so the top brass can earn a few extra million from shares and bonuses. Just another way to cut down people to keep them from earning more and getting out of debt or living a better financially fit life.

This will become significantly more common, other large fortune 500 companies are already implementing this as well.

Anything for a loose justification of paying people less and saving that bottom line.

I wonder if someone will find a way around this by bringing to light that they work for X company based out of X company location. And because X company does not own the person's dwelling, X company cannot claim that they work from an outside location because the company choose to allow the person to work from home without any prior knowledge given that pay would be hampered.
 

Irata

Posts: 1,743   +2,918
To be fair, if you work from home vs. in the office, you can save considerably both on costs for the commute itself but also on time.

That depends on the area, I.e. on the cost of transport vs. availability of affordable housing near the office.

Otoh, the employer also has considerable savings when employees work from home (office space, energy, networking, amenities..... so I really don't see the point of reduced pay.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,724   +4,259
We want you to be SUPER SCARED about COVID, oh and if you work from home were cutting your pay. Nice messaging there google.

OTOH I knew this would happen. These people should be thanking their lucky stars they have jobs at all, if you are entirely remote you are competing with India, china, mexico, even directly for jobs. Welcome to what the blue collar workers dealt with through NAFTA
 

VitalyT

Posts: 5,952   +6,211
Welcome to the bloody reality check!

As a contractor, I can tell you that it is more reliable and more profitable to hold on to two small contracts at a time than trying to keep one large contract going. The latter is always on the cut line, and typically more stressful than the other two combined.

For example, in my area of the software development, it is very easy to find a contract at a near-bottom 300 euro a day, so two makes it 600, while it is next to impossible to find the high-end contract that pays 550 a day, and often difficult to hold on to it.

I think a lot of professionals will be ending in the same boat, preferring two small contracts versus one large contract. Better money, less pressure and stress. And you won't become unemployed should one contract disappear.
 

brucek

Posts: 901   +1,305
One of the reasons companies pay higher salaries is to compete effectively for talent against other companies needing that same talent. Attempting to pay less for that talent when it is physically located elsewhere does not feel like it should work in a competitive market.

Of course, for positions where there are plenty of people who can do them, sure you'll be able to price those down until find the one willing to do it for the least cost, which will likely be someone who in turn has the lowest cost of living.
 

3volv3d

Posts: 409   +209
Its almost like it's from the same brains as sony, digital games should cost more than in shops... Gg.

But in this case, I'm on Googles side.
Tea and loo breaks at will, extra long lunches with the cat, and an extra walk for the dog.
You saved money and time not having to drag your butt in via two taxis and a subway.
You didn't need to make or buy lunch.
You get 2 hours more sleep a day right?
I think the commute costs and even some of the time are compensated in the pay.
You don't need it anymore and your unsupervised. Maybe you get 100% if you prove each month your productivity isn't suffering.
Problem is lots of jobs can be done remotely, which saves the employee time, is one less car I'm rush hour maybe, helping the environment possibly. Benefits of. But the flip side is corporation greed. Which this is also. Cut the bottom line, while inflation sees prices go up and wages down. More so for those on the breadline, not particularly anyone who works for google tho I'm sure. And now I'm not sure I'm on googles side.
Maybe 10% is a wee bit to ball park.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,540   +4,937
We want you to be SUPER SCARED about COVID, oh and if you work from home were cutting your pay. Nice messaging there google.

OTOH I knew this would happen. These people should be thanking their lucky stars they have jobs at all, if you are entirely remote you are competing with India, china, mexico, even directly for jobs. Welcome to what the blue collar workers dealt with through NAFTA
NAFTA? I think you mean Nixon's normalization of relations with China.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,540   +4,937
Its almost like it's from the same brains as sony, digital games should cost more than in shops... Gg.

But in this case, I'm on Googles side.
Tea and loo breaks at will, extra long lunches with the cat, and an extra walk for the dog.
While there may be plenty of people who have the luxury of abusing such a relationship, there are studies out there that show that working from home increases productivity. https://www.apollotechnical.com/working-from-home-productivity-statistics/
Not everyone is a low-life who F's off when working from home.

This is just a BS move on gagme's part - sure, one of the richest employers in the world cannot be bothered to pay those employees who contribute to their bottom line. After all, paying those employees less means more on the bottom line of gagme's balance sheet.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,724   +4,259
NAFTA? I think you mean Nixon's normalization of relations with China.
While normalization with china turned out to be a disaster, NAFTA hammered thousands of good union jobs out of existence, and that downward pressure **** not only the remaining union jobs but also all the non union jobs that had an influx of unskilled and skilled labor.
Its almost like it's from the same brains as sony, digital games should cost more than in shops... Gg.

But in this case, I'm on Googles side.
Tea and loo breaks at will, extra long lunches with the cat, and an extra walk for the dog.
You saved money and time not having to drag your butt in via two taxis and a subway.
You didn't need to make or buy lunch.
You get 2 hours more sleep a day right?
I think the commute costs and even some of the time are compensated in the pay.
You don't need it anymore and your unsupervised. Maybe you get 100% if you prove each month your productivity isn't suffering.
Problem is lots of jobs can be done remotely, which saves the employee time, is one less car I'm rush hour maybe, helping the environment possibly. Benefits of. But the flip side is corporation greed. Which this is also. Cut the bottom line, while inflation sees prices go up and wages down. More so for those on the breadline, not particularly anyone who works for google tho I'm sure. And now I'm not sure I'm on googles side.
Maybe 10% is a wee bit to ball park.
You also have to supply your own equipment, work area, HVAC, and the psychological strain of having your home and office in the same place. Your employer also saves on equipment, electricity, office rent, ece.
 

Hexic

Posts: 1,053   +1,561
TechSpot Elite
While normalization with china turned out to be a disaster, NAFTA hammered thousands of good union jobs out of existence, and that downward pressure **** not only the remaining union jobs but also all the non union jobs that had an influx of unskilled and skilled labor.
You also have to supply your own equipment, work area, HVAC, and the psychological strain of having your home and office in the same place. Your employer also saves on equipment, electricity, office rent, ece.
Precisely.

My employer is saving so much money on utilities, office space (we’ve released some leases on numerous buildings due to WFH policies) - not only do I not deserve a pay cut, I deserve a raise offsetting the insane amount of money Corporate is saving by not having me in there, AND my significantly increased work output.

“Don’t be evil” died a long time ago.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,136   +2,154
You know what Google employees need? A worker's union to force Google to *increase* the pay of telecommuters since it *saves* Google money and they should pass those savings to the employee.
 

jpuroila

Posts: 388   +235
To be fair, anyone who willingly works for google fully deserves to have their pay cut, although it should be more to the tune of 80%.
 

Lozzy

Posts: 21   +32
"Don't Be Evil" couldn't me more dead.

A few percent would be reasonable, depending on the commuting costs saved for the employee vs the costs saved for Google. But I can't help thinking Google is just taking the piss.
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 13,003   +6,320
To be fair, anyone who willingly works for google fully deserves to have their pay cut, although it should be more to the tune of 80%.
Some people get paid extra for using their own facilities/equipment. Why would you think it is fair to treat others differently?
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,247   +7,016
Of course, by working from home the employee saves the companies a lot of money so perhaps the best defense is a strong offense .... when the employee gets a pay cut they need to submit a bill to the company for their estimate of "fair value" for saved rent, utilities, etc. AND they need to demand they be put on an hourly rate since most estimates show work at home employee's tend to put in more hours than at work and are not paid for it.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,800   +2,155
TechSpot Elite
This is such BS. Google will actually SAVE money because of this. Fewer people taking up space, fewer people using the washrooms, a smaller coffee budget, etc.

Hey Google, stop being evil.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,800   +2,155
TechSpot Elite
“we always pay at the top of the local market based on where an employee works from.”

This sounds shady as helI. Just sounds like a way for a company to say FU to their employees and save as much money as they can so the top brass can earn a few extra million from shares and bonuses. Just another way to cut down people to keep them from earning more and getting out of debt or living a better financially fit life.
Ain't capitalism just GRAND?
I wonder if someone will find a way around this by bringing to light that they work for X company based out of X company location. And because X company does not own the person's dwelling, X company cannot claim that they work from an outside location because the company choose to allow the person to work from home without any prior knowledge given that pay would be hampered.
Sure but if Google refuses, how long do you think it will take for the legal proceedings to occur? For that matter, how much do you think that it will cost?

Ah, the Capitalist States of America, one nation under "Gawd", indivisible (until it isn't), with liberty and justice for all (who can afford astronomical attorney fees). The declaration of independence would no longer begin with "We the people" but with "We the multinational corporations" because after the "Citizens United" court case that gave US corporations all the rights enjoyed by a US citizen, those corporations are the only ones who are properly protected as citizens.
To be fair, if you work from home vs. in the office, you can save considerably both on costs for the commute itself but also on time.

That depends on the area, I.e. on the cost of transport vs. availability of affordable housing near the office.

Otoh, the employer also has considerable savings when employees work from home (office space, energy, networking, amenities..... so I really don't see the point of reduced pay.
That's because you're not a rich and soulless capitalist who would do anything to screw over their employees in an attempt to kiss up to corporate shareholders.
NAFTA? I think you mean Nixon's normalization of relations with China.
You're both right. Nixon's normalisation of relations with China was good for promoting peace at the time but it was catastrophic for the American worker. (you know, the people that the Republicans claim to value the most) because China is where their jobs went as a result. NAFTA only helps the already rich extract even more money from the economy at the expense of the average person in all three countries involved.
While there may be plenty of people who have the luxury of abusing such a relationship, there are studies out there that show that working from home increases productivity. https://www.apollotechnical.com/working-from-home-productivity-statistics/
Not everyone is a low-life who F's off when working from home.

This is just a BS move on gagme's part - sure, one of the richest employers in the world cannot be bothered to pay those employees who contribute to their bottom line. After all, paying those employees less means more on the bottom line of gagme's balance sheet.
I wondered who it was who was on Google's side and realised that it's someone I put on iggy long ago. Good call, eh? :laughing:
Take your talent elsewhere. That is the only way to combat horrible policies like this one.
What I think is that the heads of Google, Apple, Oracle, IBM, etc. got together in one of their "secret society" meetings (aka hookers and blow parties) and agreed that all companies will do this across the board eventually. That will take away the choice that people think that they have but really don't because the whole system is rigged against them.

It's because the rich are in control and so of course set everything up to benefit only them. The wealth increase that the uber-rich have seen in the past two years while everyone else is fighting to not get evicted should have been a pretty good evidential case-in-point.
You know what Google employees need? A worker's union to force Google to *increase* the pay of telecommuters since it *saves* Google money and they should pass those savings to the employee.
Yeah but you know how averse Americans have become to unions. Unions are *gasp!* "SOCIALISM!!!", or at least, that's what the Patricians have programmed the plebeians to believe through their control of corporate media. I sometimes wonder if Americans ever actually give consent for something or if it's always manufactured for them. Look what happened at Amazon in Ala-f'n-bama. Amazon blatently broke the law with their obvious interference in the process, the decision to join the union was shot down and the Red Republican state government didn't even give Amazon a slap on the wrist because obviously Amazon is above the law. I'm sure that this is also true in more states than just Ala-fn-bama.
To be fair, anyone who willingly works for google fully deserves to have their pay cut, although it should be more to the tune of 80%.
I would say that's true about the executives but not the people who actually work for a living instead of getting drunk on the golf course every day.
"Don't Be Evil" couldn't me more dead.

A few percent would be reasonable, depending on the commuting costs saved for the employee vs the costs saved for Google. But I can't help thinking Google is just taking the piss.
The bolded part makes no sense. Why would the employee's savings on commuting costs be relevant? You're literally suggesting that a company should reduce your pay if they decide that your commute isn't expensive enough. Since Google surely doesn't pay employees more if they have longer or more difficult commutes, they are not entitled to drop an employees pay simply because the employee's commute costs have dropped or have disappeared. It is patently absurd to suggest otherwise.

The only thing here to consider is Google's savings. There is literally no reason for Google to do this except to take advantage of its employees and needlessly soak them. Google already has a licence to print money so what they're suggesting is Amazon-level jacka$$ery.
Of course, by working from home the employee saves the companies a lot of money so perhaps the best defense is a strong offense .... when the employee gets a pay cut they need to submit a bill to the company for their estimate of "fair value" for saved rent, utilities, etc. AND they need to demand they be put on an hourly rate since most estimates show work at home employee's tend to put in more hours than at work and are not paid for it.
I couldn't agree more with your statement. Unfortunately, my second reply in this post (to Neatfeatguy) still applies.
 
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3volv3d

Posts: 409   +209
While there may be plenty of people who have the luxury of abusing such a relationship, there are studies out there that show that working from home increases productivity. https://www.apollotechnical.com/working-from-home-productivity-statistics/
Not everyone is a low-life who F's off when working from home.

This is just a BS move on gagme's part - sure, one of the richest employers in the world cannot be bothered to pay those employees who contribute to their bottom line. After all, paying those employees less means more on the bottom line of gagme's balance sheet.
I did say I actually changed opinion half way through my statement. And lack of productivity would be spotted right and action taken, so no need to be cutting pay.
As others have said there's no longer an office space rented, and other costs saved.
Hell I agree with the fella about wanting his payrise.
More ladies of the night for him...
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,540   +4,937
As others have said there's no longer an office space rented, and other costs saved.
Not only that, I am sure gagme has built its own buildings to house their employees. If they are creative enough, they could rent out the space that used to house those that are telecommuting and potentially make money on the deal.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,540   +4,937
Ain't capitalism just GRAND?
🌈<- Are we there yet? :laughing:
Sure but if Google refuses, how long do you think it will take for the legal proceedings to occur? For that matter, how much do you think that it will cost?
Maybe "we the people" should be "we the litigated." :laughing:
Ah, the Capitalist States of America, one nation under "Gawd", indivisible (until it isn't), with liberty and justice for all (who can afford astronomical attorney fees). The declaration of independence would no longer begin with "We the people" but with "We the multinational corporations" because after the "Citizens United" court case that gave US corporations all the rights enjoyed by a US citizen, those corporations are the only ones who are properly protected as citizens.
(y) (Y)
You're both right. Nixon's normalisation of relations with China was good for promoting peace at the time but it was catastrophic for the American worker. (you know, the people that the Republicans claim to value the most) because China is where their jobs went as a result. NAFTA only helps the already rich extract even more money from the economy at the expense of the average person in all three countries involved.
Careful, you will rattle the boogeymen under their beds. :laughing:
Yeah but you know how averse Americans have become to unions. Unions are *gasp!* "SOCIALISM!!!", or at least, that's what the Patricians have programmed the plebeians to believe through their control of corporate media.
Now you are really rattling the boogeymen under their beds. 🤣
I sometimes wonder if Americans ever actually give consent for something or if it's always manufactured for them. Look what happened at Amazon in Ala-f'n-bama. Amazon blatently broke the law with their obvious interference in the process, the decision to join the union was shot down and the Red Republican state government didn't even give Amazon a slap on the wrist because obviously Amazon is above the law. I'm sure that this is also true in more states than just Ala-fn-bama.
I thought red states hated Amazon and would do anything to teach them a lesson.:confused:
The only thing here to consider is Google's savings. There is literally no reason for Google to do this except to take advantage of its employees and needlessly soak them. Google already has a licence to print money so what they're suggesting is Amazon-level jacka$$ery.
Like I said above, gagme could rent out that no-longer-used space and make money on it.