Companies Already Cutting Remote Technologists’ Paychecks: Survey

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic unleashed a new era of remote work, companies and technologists everywhere have debated whether working from home should come with a pay cut.

Technologists, of course, have argued that they’re working the same amount from home as they did in an office, and their pay needs to stay the same. While some companies have agreed with that theory, others are arguing that technologists who move to a place with a lower cost of living should see their salaries reduced accordingly. 

For a long time, it seemed like this debate was largely theoretical. But according to a new survey by Blind, which queries technologists about a range of issues, many companies are already adjusting the pay for those employees who’ve moved to new environs. Overall, 46 percent of technologists reported these compensation cuts; here’s the company-by-company breakdown:

“Nearly one in four professionals (24 percent) said their companies have not yet adjusted the pay of relocating employees, but they believe they will do so soon,” added Blind’s blog posting accompanying the data. “AirbnbAmazonApple, Bloomberg, Intel, NVIDIA, Oracle and JPMorgan Chase are among the companies whose remote workers may see a pay-rate change soon.”

Even if companies feel empowered to slice salaries, technologists aren’t happy about it. I didn’t do all that hard work to get promoted to then take a pay cut,” one anonymous Google employee told Reuters back in August after news leaked that the search-engine giant might slice the pay of employees opting for all-remote work

Given technologists’ affinity for working at least part of the time at home, many companies have also moved to embrace a hybridized work model wherein employees only come into the office a few days per week. “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 CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in an email posted to Google’s corporate blog this summer. “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.”

In Dice’s 2021 Technologist Sentiment Report, some 85 percent of technologists found the prospect of hybrid work anywhere from somewhat to extremely desirable, including 94 percent of younger technologists (i.e., those between 18 and 34 years old). Whether technologists prefer all-remote or hybrid work, though, it’s clear they don’t want to take a pay cut—although that hasn’t seemed to stop some companies from shaving remote employees’ compensation. 

9 Responses to “Companies Already Cutting Remote Technologists’ Paychecks: Survey”

  1. Rick Peterson

    Honestly if your company tries to do this to you leave. There is no reason they should try and save a buck at their workers expense. My company for instance is already saving money by not having permanent offices or cubes for people anymore. We were going to need to look at expanding our office due to growth but now no longer need to. They should think about that before punishing the workers that keep them afloat.

  2. I live in California. The cost of living has gone up. I still pay a house payment, I still pay for utilities: gas, water, electricity, cable/internet, and cell phone. None of those requirements go away just because I’m working from home. My bills do not decrease. Employers should NOT decrease pay because of an employee working from home.

  3. jake_leone

    You know I have been working from home during the pandemic, and literally I can do more at home than I could do at work. And the reasons:

    * I no longer have to commute for 3 hours a day. That’s an extra 3 hours I can work.
    * I don’t have to hear my co-workers talk about the latest sports match, be it cricket, football, or baseball, or basketball. And all the other junk T.V. people talk about, in order to avoid work, on the job.

    So literally, I should be paid more than what I was being paid when commuting in to work.

    Oh, but there’s a problem. The Board of Directors, the CEO, the VP’s all decided to buy offices and then cram everyone in like sardines (hence the noisy office). And you can’t let the meme get started, hey working from home for programmers is actually making them more productive.

    Such a truth, if it were ever let out, would actually destroy the prospects of managers who only exist to have a head count to look at. We can’t let that happen, can we? Never. So let’s play careful chess, slowly reel everyone back in, justifying each step with some kind of bologne (like a carefully worded survey, that never gets questioned), and soon (maybe 2 years from now) we can start saying (like Marissa Mayer);

    Okay, no more work from home, we have to make more management positions for my buddies and buy/build more offices. After all, we have to do something, otherwise how are we going to justify that big bonus at the end of the year. If we did something (and hey we call the shots) then at least we can point to that red herring, pink flamingo and say hey I did that and was a major contributor, where’s my bonus?

    I am waiting for the post pandemic job survey. And Nick you are going to amplify it that’s what you do for a living. The surveys that will “prove” that management must have workers on site, because the workers are so much happier at the job site. It’s going to happen. Hey I could just write the survery, the data, and the articles for you. It’s going to go something like, worker job satisfaction is up 25%, since we implemented a back to the job site order. And our retention rate is way, way up. Never questioning the survey. Never thinking maybe with that huge commute, they just don’t have time to look. No, it is going to be a huge snow job my friends, and if you can’t see it coming then you just don’t understand that (software dev) management is actually filled with sand-baggers that hate to code, and justify their existence with a visible head count.

  4. There is a assumption that is being overlooked here, I think. If working at home provides a cost saving for employees why should the employer feel entitled to it?
    If I refinance my home and car payments to lower interest rates, does that mean my employer is the one entitled to pocket the savings?
    And if my loan rates increase will they in turn believe I am entitled to a pay increase?

  5. Edward I.

    Employers save money on leasing, transferring these expenses to their employees and want to cut the pay?

    With work from home settings the offices moved home, which means husband/wife need two more sound proof rooms for the office space. That means it will add up to property taxes and the price of the house. Those who will stay in the same house will need to go through home improvement by adding additional floor with two or more rooms, bath room, etc. Now, you know the math keep calculating…
    Or government need to help with cutting on taxes for those who will add home offices.
    To make it short – there will be at least two more room needed in the house for a family. Thinking of meetings on speakers – as mentioned earlier – the walls will need to be sound proof.
    It will all cost something: one time (renovation, construction) and life time (maintenance, property taxes).

  6. “`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 CEO Sundar Pichai wrote”

    Oh that’s rich. They realize that many of their employees don’t work best in their expensive office complexes — probably with those horrible open workspaces — yet want to penalize them for wanting to work where they’re more productive. How effing dumb is that?

  7. Edward I.

    We are planning to add two more sound proof rooms for conference calls, which will, most probably, end up with building additional floor for the home offices. The property taxes will go up, while employers will save on leasing the buildings. The pay should compensate at least the expenses on home office (to build, utility bills), property taxes while working for W2 Corporate, not as self employed.