A few months after the COVID-19 pandemic began, Twitter announced that it would allow most of its employees to work remotely on a permanent basis. Not to be outdone, Facebook also announced a remote option for employees—with the caveat that they would need to take a pay cut if the decided to move from Silicon Valley to a place with a lower cost of living.
Those moves attracted quite a bit of publicity. Snap (maker of the popular Snapcat app) reportedly embraced remote work, as well, after telling employees that they would transition back to the office by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, some other tech giants, including Google, are embracing hybrid work (i.e., a few days in the office per week, alternating with remote days) as the way of the future. “We’ll move to a hybrid work week where most Googlers spend approximately three days in the office and two days wherever they work best,” Google/Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai recently wrote in an email posted to Google’s corporate blog. “Since in-office time will be focused on collaboration, your product areas and functions will help decide which days teams will come together in the office.”
With tech unemployment notably low at the moment, companies are all too aware of how a remote/hybrid work policy may attract or drive away top talent. Going forward, it will be interesting to see whether firms such as Facebook maintain their pay-cut policy for workers based on geography. For comparison’s sake, here are the average salaries for software engineers at Twitter, Facebook, and Snap, all drawn from levels.fyi, which crowdsources compensation data:
As engineers ascend through the ranks of these companies, it’s worth noting how stock becomes an ever-larger element in their overall compensation:
That stock, combined with generous salaries, means it can pay off to work for some of the nation’s social media companies. Given that kind of compensation, would technologists really be willing to leave their jobs at those companies if they didn’t like the remote-work policies? The next few months may offer an answer.