Key Points:

  • Wage cuts are imminent for remote workers, with US employers increasingly considering the move
  • Google is reported to be pushing through with pay cuts for work from home employees
  • Planned wage cuts are seen as a gamble given the labor crisis and workers not shy about shifting jobs around
  • Google remote workers who still decide to work from home and avoid the long commute can face up to 25% salary cuts

Workers who decide to choose to work from home permanently are in danger of having their wages reduced. Some of the biggest named employers in the world are justifying these pay cuts because working remotely requires lower living costs.

For the past months, employers and white-collar workers have been embroiled in a battle over vaccine mandates and directives to return to the office. Now, employers are fighting back by threatening to reduce wages for those who choose to work remotely in a permanent capacity.

This recent debate on employment under the “new normal” centers on employees who no longer commute to the workplace deserve their current salaries.

Google considering wage cuts

Based on a Google internal salary calculator that Reuters obtained, tech giant Google is mulling over the pay wage cuts for its work from home employees.

Despite being supportive initially of its remote workers, Google appears to be changing its tune. The company has just recently given 10,000 work from home requests from employees a go. It has also postponed its intended return-to-office schedule to the 18th of October in considering the Delta variant.

Yet, what the Reuters report exposed could change things drastically, especially remote workers with long commutes. They could be facing reduced wages if Google pushes through with its plan.

Wage cuts could be as much as 25%

The Reuters expose found that with Google’s new pay policies, work from home employees may face 10 to 25 percent pay cuts. 

To illustrate, a Google employee commuting to work from Stamford, Connecticut to New York would have a 15% pay cut if they continue to work from home. On the other hand, another Google employee who lives in New York would have no reduction in wages. Meanwhile, Google employees moving from San Francisco could have their pay slashed up to 25%, according to workers themselves.

A Google employee who commuted to the company’s Seattle office from a county nearby revealed that their salary was cut 10% if they decided to work from home.

Many workers lamented the new work from home pay policy. Specifically, those who recently got promoted but chose to work from home will still have their wages reduced. 

For its part, Google explained to Reuters about their pay policy, saying that it has always been location-based, and added that salaries are computed “at the top of the local market” from where the employee works.