Company’s pay calculator lets remote workers assess what lack of commute could cost them

Google employees based in the same office before the pandemic could see different changes in pay if they switch to working from home permanently, with long commuters hit harder, according to a company pay calculator seen by Reuters.
The rules are likely apply to staff working in Dublin as well as across the internet giants network of offices internationally.
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, a spokeswoman for Google Ireland said.
Google is now offering employees a calculator that allows them to see the effects of a move. But in practice, some remote employees, especially those who commute from long distances, could experience pay cuts without changing their address.
Our new work location tool was developed to help employees make informed decisions about which city or state they work from and any impact on compensation if they choose to relocate or work remotely, the spokeswoman said.
One Google employee, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation, typically commutes to the groups Seattle office in the US from a nearby county and would likely see their pay cut by about 10 per cent by working from home full-time, according estimates by the companys work location tool launched in June.
The employee was considering remote work but decided to keep going to the office despite the two-hour commute. Its as high of a pay cut as I got for my most recent promotion. I didnt do all that hard work to get promoted to then take a pay cut, they said.
Jake Rosenfeld, a sociology professor at Washington University in St. Louis who researches pay determination, said Googles pay structure raises alarms about who will feel the impacts most acutely, including families.
Whats clear is that Google doesnt have to do this, Prof Rosenfeld said. Google has paid these workers at 100 per cent of their prior wage, by definition. So its not like they cant afford to pay their workers who choose to work remotely the same that they are used to receiving.
Screenshots of Googles internal salary calculator seen by Reuters show that an employee living in Stamford, Connecticut an hour from New York City by train would be paid 15 per cent less if she worked from home, while a colleague from the same office living in New York city would see no cut from working from home.
Screenshots showed 5 per cent and 10 per cent differences in the Seattle, Boston and San Francisco areas. Interviews with Google employees indicate pay cuts as high as 25 per cent for remote work if they left San Francisco for an almost as expensive area of the state such as Lake Tahoe.
The calculator states it uses US Census Bureau metropolitan statistical areas. Stamford, Connecticut, for example, is not in New York citys area, even though many people who live there work in New York.
A Google spokesperson said the company will not change an employees salary based on them going from office work to being fully remote in the city where the office is located. Employees working in the New York city office will be paid the same as those working remotely from another New York city location, for example, according to the spokesperson.
Google did not specifically address the issue for commuters from areas such as Stamford, Connecticut. Reuters