Tech giant Google revealed earlier in the year that it would adopt a hybrid work model offering more flexibility to Google employees. As such, over 10,000 employees put in requests to work remotely over the last few months, 85% of which were approved.
However, on Thursday (12 August) news broke that remote Google employees could see their salaries cut should they opt not to return to the office.
This comes as Google has announced it developed a pay calculator for Google employees to see the effects of working remotely as Google may slash wages depending on the location the person is working from.
Google says that pay for its employees has always been determined according to location. "Our compensation packages have always been determined by location, and we always pay at the top of the local market based on where an employee works from," a Google spokesperson said to Reuters.
The pay calculator allows Google employees to see how much they would earn depending on the location they live in. Reuters reports that workers who live in New York City and choose to remotely work would see their salary stay the same. However, those who live in the suburbs like Connecticut and opt-out of commuting to the office could see their wages decreased.
Of the 10,000 Google employees who put in requests to work remotely earlier in the year, 15% were denied because their jobs demanded specialised equipment or face-to-face interactions.
Google's initial return to work was slated for September but it has since been pushed back to 18 October 2020, with employees having to show proof of vaccinations.
The hybrid model for returning to work for Google's employees was revealed in May by Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai that promised a more flexible workweek, remote and work from anywhere options as well as reset days.
"The future of work is flexibility. The changes above are a starting point to help us do our very best work and have fun doing it," Pichai said in a blog post in May.
Google frequently tops lists as one of the best places to work for employees. It was voted as having the best company culture of 2021.
The trend for more flexible work arrangements in the tech sector is nothing new but as Covid-19 forced workers to work from home during the pandemic, employers and workers the globe over are at crossroads. As vaccination rates pick up and economies open up, a battle may be brewing between bosses who want employees to return to the office and staff who want to keep working remotely, and is only just starting especially in Silicon Valley.
Not only Google but Twitter and Facebook have implemented similar policies around choosing to work remotely affecting wages for its employees.
Twitter's Jack Dorsey announced in May, "We want employees to be able to work where they feel most creative and productive,” allowing employees to work remotely forever if they choose to do so.
“We’re going to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale,” said Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. However, workers at the social media company would also see their pay adjusted on the location of living.
“That means if you live in a location where the cost of living is dramatically lower, or the cost of labour is lower, then salaries do tend to be somewhat lower in those places,” Zuckerberg added.
Other tech companies allowing their workers to work remotely include Reddit, LinkedIn, and Shopify.
Photo / Google