Remote working in Tech was already in place, but due to the Coronavirus pandemic more companies now allow more of their employees to work fully from home. Twitter made the first move. Then Shopify and Facebook followed suit. This is awesome, right? Right? As a person working for a Technology company, I want to give my experiences regarding remote work.
I don’t hide who I work for: Twitter. You can find that on my About Brittany page or on my LinkedIn account. I do have to say this post and my entire website are my opinions only.
Remote Working In Tech: Some Positions Can’t Participate
To those who believe all employees at Tech companies can work from home, you are sadly mistaken. There are several positions that 1) cannot be done at home at all, or 2) can portions of their daily tasks at home.
I work at one of Twitter’s data centers diagnosing and repairing their servers. Yes, I can diagnose and troubleshoot servers remotely through software, but I can’t repair them. I need to be physically on-site to replace a dead hard drive or a defective stick of memory. As a result, I can’t fully work from home.
Twitter isn’t the only Tech company with physical roles. Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple all have data center employees. Those individuals must work in the office.
Finally, there are other positions that usually work in the office, like Corporate Security. Yes, these individuals can do parts of their job from home, but Security must be on-site to fully do their jobs.
Do I feel left out because I can’t work from home? No. I knew my job didn’t have the ability to be remote when I took it nearly three years ago. While it would be nice to work from home, I would have to change positions to do so. At this time, I don’t want to.
Remote Working In Tech: For Some, It Does Improve Productivity
Remote working in Tech does improve the productivity of many employees, yet others report a decline.
Why? Some people only work well when they can work on projects face-to-face with other people. Yes, having meetings online can help, but it’s not a true replacement.
Others do not have a good setup at home to work remotely. Remember, some employees may live in an apartment with roommates, or have their kids at home. With that comes noise, distractions, and probably not enough space to work properly.
While many employees do enjoy no work commute, others need to come to the office to be productive. It’s the best way for them to keep their work/life balance in equilibrium by keeping their work at the office and relaxation at home. When your work life is at home, it’s difficult for some to separate.
Let’s Discuss Salary
One sensitive topic companies don’t want to talk about just yet, but they kinda are, is remote worker’s salary. The question being: Will employees keep their same salary if they move from expensive cities? Probably not.
Many of the Tech companies have their headquarters in Silicon Valley. It’s very expensive to live in the Bay Area. Thus, to lure employees Tech companies pay a very high salary to those who will live there. However, if their employees who can work from home leave those expensive cities and/or states, can they keep those high salaries?
Facebook said they will lower employees’ salaries if they move to a lower cost-of-living area. Twitter is currently working on their policy. Yet from engineers I talked to who work for the company, they expect their salaries to be cut if they leave California or New York City.
Is this right? I think so because employees were given money to live in a very high-cost-of-living area. If you decide to move to Kansas or Wyoming or Mississippi, why should you continue to make a $100k+ salary? I live in Georgia and the cost-of-living, although rising, is very inexpensive when compared to San Francisco, CA or San Jose, CA.
However, if Twitter needed me to relocate from Georgia to their headquarters in San Francisco, I would get a large increase in pay.
I know some will be unhappy with a salary cut, but they are still making a large income when compared to other individuals in those cities and/or states. When I look at the average salaries of various occupations in Georgia, a technology employee earns at least twice more than many of the jobs listed. The average salary in Atlanta, GA is around $67k a year.
I still believe if you earn at least $100k outside of the major cities in the U.S., you’re making a large salary.
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