Google has a new internal pay calculator to break down the possible cuts to employees’ salaries if they decide to live far away from the office - a hot-button topic more than a year into a pandemic that revolutionized the workplace.
It means the company may slash the salaries of suburban workers over employees who work remotely from cities where the Google offices are, Reuters reported.
So what could a pay cut look like in real terms?
According to screenshots from the calculator, employees living within the five boroughs of New York City who choose to work from home permanently will have nothing to worry about as they will not get a pay reduction.
But the same cannot be said for commuters who live an hour away from Google’s Manhattan offices in Stamford, Connecticut, as they will receive a 15 per cent cut in their pay if they decide to continue working from home.
Though the pay cuts can range anywhere from 5-10 per cent difference for commuters living in the Seattle, Boston and San Francisco areas.
It seems that the further away you move from the office, the more severe the pay cut - the biggest being a 25% cut if an employee moved away from the San Francisco offices in California to Lake Tahoe, located in the same state.
Similar moves have also been used by social media companies to keep their staff in the city offices.
Employees from large social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn could face a pay deduction if they decide to move away from the city.
However, smaller companies like Reddit and Zillow have not followed suit and said pay will remain the same for their employees regardless of where they live.
For context, Google has over 140,000 employees worldwide and in the second quarter of this year made a whopping $61.9 billion in revenue.
Jake Rosenfeld, a sociology professor at Washington University in St. Louis who researches pay determination, highlighted that Google has been paying the wages of commuters working from home in full until now.
“What’s clear is that Google doesn’t have to do this,” Rosenfeld told Reuters. “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.”
A Google spokesperson told Reuters: “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.”