Facebook staff can continue remote working, but may face pay cut [u]

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 19
As Apple, Google, and others plan getting workers back into offices after the coronavirus, Facebook says that it will support staff continuing to work from home -- with certain conditions.

Facebook
Facebook


Apple CEO Tim Cook "can't wait" for employees to return to Apple Park. Google expects workers to return, though overseas ones can apply to continue. Now Facebook says that it believes remote working is "the future."

According to BBC News, Facebook will allow staff to continue working from home. Brynn Harrington, Facebook vice president of People Growth, says that some people have been "really thriving" while working from home.

"For example, parents who are closer to their children and are happy to cut their commute time and optimise their work day, they're thrilled to work from home," she told BBC News. "[However] this is working from home during a pandemic, we are not in a period of healthy remote work."

"We have people juggling care giving responsibilities, we have people living in small apartments with roommates, those people desperately want to get back into offices," she continued, "and we're working really hard to do that, as soon as it's safe to open our offices."

Working from home will not be available to all employees, however. Facebook has not detailed its plans, but there will be some eligible and some ineligible roles -- and all will require management approval.

There is also a possibility that remote workers would face salary cuts. "We pay based on the local cost of labour in a market," said Harrington. "So there will be variability in terms of pay for remote workers, based on where they work."

Apple employees did initially report issues with working from home, when the pandemic first hit, but these appear to have been resolved. Apple has also profited from the large rise in demand for new equipment from home workers, and Tim Cook has said he expects this trend to continue.

Update: 12:45 ET: Facebook has reached out to AppleInsider to say that while this topic is now being discussed industry-wide because of staff returning to work, their comments on BBC News were made in May 2020. The company has not revised its plans, nor detailed new arrangements.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    Pay cuts for doing the same if not similar work from home. Really Facebook? Another reason to hate them. 
    watto_cobraRayz2016ronnStrangeDaysdysamoria
  • Reply 2 of 17
    I would of imagined getting paid more due to decreased office space required, less pressure of facilities, less public liability, catering, the list goes on. 
    watto_cobraapplguyronnStrangeDays
  • Reply 3 of 17
    So you are, say, from Pakistan. You worked at Facebook in California before the pandemic. You were paid a huge Californian salaries.

    Now you work from home, in Pakistan. You do the exact same work, but you are not in California anymore. According to Facebook, you shouldn’t be paid for your work as you were in the US. Instead, your salary should be based on the average salary of the area you live in.

    Says Facebook: you’re welcome to work from home, but you’ll be treated as a second class citizen of the company. 
    edited April 19 dk49watto_cobraStrangeDays
  • Reply 4 of 17
    Skeptical said:
    Pay cuts for doing the same if not similar work from home. Really Facebook? Another reason to hate them. 
    There's a reason why tech folk on the left coast can get over $200k salaries: cost of living. And even then the number of them living in microscopic housing - or even their cars - is scary.

    So yes, it's not unreasonable to expect someone currently earning $150k living in the Bay area to take a pay cut if they work remotely and live in somewhere like Indianapolis where that $150k will command a significantly higher standard of living.
    tylersdadtht
  • Reply 5 of 17
    fred1fred1 Posts: 751member
     Now Facebook says that it believes remote working is ‘the future.’”
    +
     There is also a possibility that remote workers would face salary cuts.”
    =
    Facebook believes that salary cuts are “the future.”

    Gee, I wonder which pay level is most likely to be fired first. 
    You have been warned.
    edited April 19 elijahgwatto_cobraronnStrangeDays
  • Reply 6 of 17
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,269member
    Skeptical said:
    Pay cuts for doing the same if not similar work from home. Really Facebook? Another reason to hate them. 

    Ok...
    How about a pay raise for all those experiencing significantly increased spending because they are working in the office?
    Those people have to pay commuting expenses (that can run into the thousands), clothing and childcare as well as to take time off from work for child and elder care...

    (Conversely though, the company does save on office space and all the supporting hardware (computers, broadband, WiFi, etc...)

    As a former cost accountant and analyst, I would love to dive into those numbers and figure out who is saving how much!
    I am sure though (or I sincerely hope!) that the large corporations (from Facebook to Goldman Sacs) have already done that study.
    But then you run into the intangibles related to personal interaction between peers as well as with supervisors and how it impacts long term employee development and workflow.  For instance, Goldman has long emphasized how its corporate culture is part of being a Goldman employee.  It's one of the reasons why they intend to return staff to the office.

    It is an incredibly complex topic that is too often over simplified with the blue collar concept of:  "I insert this screw into this hole for 8 hours each day then I go home" -- so that all work is assumed to be equal because it is so routine.
    johnfrombeyondapplguy
  • Reply 7 of 17
    tylersdadtylersdad Posts: 243member
    Skeptical said:
    Pay cuts for doing the same if not similar work from home. Really Facebook? Another reason to hate them. 
    Yes. This isn't just a Facebook thing. When I moved from California to Washington I was told there might be an adjustment if the pay range from my local office was less than my old local office. Since the new local office was Seattle and the old local office was San Jose, I didn't receive an adjustment.

    There are a lot of people moving into my town from LA, Seattle and Portland. They think they can work anywhere, so they're leaving the cities. They're selling their expensive city homes, making a ton of money and driving up prices here in my town to ridiculous heights. Already overpriced homes are going for 20+% over asking and many of those to people with cash. Locals can't compete. 

    Hopefully this policy will drive them back to where they came from and the local housing market will stabilize. 
    chemengin1
  • Reply 8 of 17
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,269member
    pascal007 said:
    So you are, say, from Pakistan. You worked at Facebook in California before the pandemic. You were paid a huge Californian salaries.

    Now you work from home, in Pakistan. You do the exact same work, but you are not in California anymore. According to Facebook, you shouldn’t be paid for your work as you were in the US. Instead, your salary should be based on the average salary of the area you live in.

    Says Facebook: you’re welcome to work from home, but you’ll be treated as a second class citizen of the company. 

    The highly inflated wages of California, Manhatten, etc, are there because of the highly inflated cost of living -- NOT because of the work being done.

    So, please explain why, when those reasons for the inflated wages are removed, that the inflated wages should still be paid?
    Would they be paid if the company moved that office to (as in your example) Pakistan?
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobrajohnfrombeyondbeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 9 of 17
    Skeptical said:
    Pay cuts for doing the same if not similar work from home. Really Facebook? Another reason to hate them. 

    Ok...
    How about a pay raise for all those experiencing significantly increased spending because they are working in the office?
    Those people have to pay commuting expenses (that can run into the thousands), clothing and childcare as well as to take time off from work for child and elder care...

    (Conversely though, the company does save on office space and all the supporting hardware (computers, broadband, WiFi, etc...)

    As a former cost accountant and analyst, I would love to dive into those numbers and figure out who is saving how much!
    I am sure though (or I sincerely hope!) that the large corporations (from Facebook to Goldman Sacs) have already done that study.
    But then you run into the intangibles related to personal interaction between peers as well as with supervisors and how it impacts long term employee development and workflow.  For instance, Goldman has long emphasized how its corporate culture is part of being a Goldman employee.  It's one of the reasons why they intend to return staff to the office.

    It is an incredibly complex topic that is too often over simplified with the blue collar concept of:  "I insert this screw into this hole for 8 hours each day then I go home" -- so that all work is assumed to be equal because it is so routine.
    This is probably the reasoning behind “some positions will be eligible to remote work and others won’t”. All corporations have positions that can be flexible in this way, but plenty that aren’t. 
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 10 of 17
    Skeptical said:
    Pay cuts for doing the same if not similar work from home. Really Facebook? Another reason to hate them. 
    This is not a Facebook thing. This is a standard corporate HR thing. I work for a DC association and we’ve had this policy for years. It was rare before the pandemic, but they have reiterated the policy as we move to a situation where half of us (or more) may choose to skip the commute and possibly the high cost of the DC market. A friend of mine stayed with the company and moved to North Dakota a few years ago. His pay was reduced (no idea how much), but it’s a win-win for both sides. He gets to live where he wants at a much lower cost of living and our association saves money on salaries. 

    If Facebook employees want to keep their high salaries and high mortgage/rent payments, they are free to do so. Now they have more options. 
    johnfrombeyond
  • Reply 11 of 17
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,529member
    I KNEW this was coming from the moment COVID changed our normal work routines.  I knew that all the media-hype, and BS twitter screenshots about how remote-work was going to be the new normal was complete bull.

    A company compensates their employee to do their work at the office.  COVID is not going to change that permanently.  If you made the choice (and assumption) that you were going to forever be paid your high city-based salary while you jumped-ship and moved to Utah, well.. you bet wrong.

    Salesforce recently put their employees on notice that they will be expected to slowly start going back to the office in May.  With vaccinations going up, and people thinking they could forever go to the beach and work wherever they way, it's about to get real for you.

    I see so many people behaving like COVID is more a vacation than a pandemic.  

    If you moved to Bali, expect to be paid that area's wage.  Makes absolute sense.
    edited April 19
  • Reply 12 of 17
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,699member
    If they’re cutting homeworkers’ pay then can we assume Facebook will also be pickup up the heating, electricity and connection costs during work hours?
    ronn
  • Reply 13 of 17
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,269member
    Rayz2016 said:
    If they’re cutting homeworkers’ pay then can we assume Facebook will also be pickup up the heating, electricity and connection costs during work hours?

    That would not be a good bet
  • Reply 14 of 17
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,529member
    Rayz2016 said:
    If they’re cutting homeworkers’ pay then can we assume Facebook will also be pickup up the heating, electricity and connection costs during work hours?
    Why?  The employee can just claim their home-office as a tax-deduction. 
    beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 15 of 17
    applguyapplguy Posts: 127member
    sflocal said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    If they’re cutting homeworkers’ pay then can we assume Facebook will also be pickup up the heating, electricity and connection costs during work hours?
    Why?  The employee can just claim their home-office as a tax-deduction. 
    Not so. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed by Trump in 2017 removed the employee home office deduction until 2025. Self-employed and gig workers can still claim the deduction. Note that the standard deduction and child tax credit was significantly raised leading to the temporary tax cut (expires after 2025) many are enjoying. 
    ronnGeorgeBMacStrangeDays
  • Reply 16 of 17
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,157member
    sflocal said:
    I KNEW this was coming from the moment COVID changed our normal work routines.  I knew that all the media-hype, and BS twitter screenshots about how remote-work was going to be the new normal was complete bull.

    A company compensates their employee to do their work at the office.  COVID is not going to change that permanently.  If you made the choice (and assumption) that you were going to forever be paid your high city-based salary while you jumped-ship and moved to Utah, well.. you bet wrong.

    Salesforce recently put their employees on notice that they will be expected to slowly start going back to the office in May.  With vaccinations going up, and people thinking they could forever go to the beach and work wherever they way, it's about to get real for you.

    I see so many people behaving like COVID is more a vacation than a pandemic.  

    If you moved to Bali, expect to be paid that area's wage.  Makes absolute sense.
    Not sure I agree. I've been a 1099 corporate consultant/contractor for most of my career. My rate is based on the value of the service I provide to my customers -- not where I live or what my COL is. My customers (household names, Fortune 100, 500, government, etc) pay me on that simple calculation -- the value received for the price of service. I don't know why that should be any different for W2 labor costs.
    edited April 19 applguy
  • Reply 17 of 17
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,208member
    CiaranF said:
    I would of imagined getting paid more due to decreased office space required, less pressure of facilities, less public liability, catering, the list goes on. 
    You’re not that familiar with corporations, are ya? Why would they pay employees more with any decreased office expenses? They’re going to put those savings into their profits.
    GeorgeBMac
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