Google joins other Big Tech firms in slashing salaries for remote workers

The news: Google workers who choose to work remotely and move to different markets will be forced to take compensation cuts, according to a company pay calculator seen by Reuters. Though Google officials told the outlet compensation based on location isn’t new, some employees in suburban areas may see pay cuts even if they’d lived there before the pandemic began.

  • In one example, an employee who lived an hour away from Google’s New York office was expected to take a 15% pay cut for working remotely.
  • Other remote workers who chose to move away from San Francisco are expected to see pay cuts as high as 25%.
  • But at the same time, a Google spokesperson said the company will not change an employee’s salary if they choose to work remotely in the city where their office is located.
  • The news comes just weeks after Google approved 85% of roughly 10,000 remote work and office transfer requests.

How we got here: Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all told employees they should expect to see pay cuts for remote work, but other firms, like Reddit and Zillo, have committed to paying workers equally regardless of location, citing potential advances in hiring and staff diversity.

  • The tech industry saw an exodus of workers moving away from traditional industry hubs during the pandemic, but there are signs many are returning as offices prepare for full-scale openings.

Why this could backfire: Tech firms that buck the trend of location-based compensation could poach top talent from competitors.

A Morning Consult/Bloomberg poll found some 39% of US adults would consider quitting their jobs if their employers weren’t flexible about remote work, and a Protocol survey of tech workers found that 75% of all respondents wanted their employers to let them work remotely indefinitely.

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