I was reading Om Malik’s Real reasons why tech giants are hugging “Remote Work”, it has some fantastic points.
Those fancy offices, catered lunches, and all the other luxuries that allow people to pretend that they are still in college and getting paid for it — that all costs money.
No doubt. The offices I used to go to before the world imploded had a kicker, arcade machine, fruit, juice machine, great chairs, ample tables, huge displays…
Will these companies replace this office benefits for a different kind of benefit? A benefit that can be enjoyed from home?
So, you want to work remotely for Facebook? Great! All you have to do is figure out your own office space (much like how an Uber driver is responsible for the upkeep of their vehicle)
I’ve known companies that work fully remote and they provide an interesting welcome package. They give you a budget for your home office. A fixed amount to upgrade your chair, desk, display, or whatever would make you work more comfortably.
In my opinion that’s the only way to move forward if they insist of moving everybody to remote work. If companies think they can simply stop renting office space and save all the money they’re in for a surprise. The employee doesn’t want to suddenly have an increased electrical bill (as we’ve seen at our home. More than 20€ compared to the regular office work. That repeated for twelve months takes a dent. Some might consider it small, some won’t).
The same thing for the benefits, will the employee give them up when you had them before? People are quick when it comes to getting used to goodies.
What they will be saving on rent they’ll have to invest on the employees in some other manner. It can be as simple as giving everybody a raise. Raise is a scary word for corporate. More than one company will use the 2020 pandemic as an excuse to freeze this year’s raises. Justified or not, the lower grunts will never know. Yes, clients have been lost but costs have been lowered as well. As as soon as they close offices, well… it’s a math problem.
Then, does it make sense for them? Will they crunch the numbers and allow work from home if they have to pay you more?