As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the entire world into our homes, the global economy is pushing new workforce adjustments. We’ve seen company after company announces that they’re moving to remote work for the rest of the year, or permanently moving forward.
Joining the list of companies moving to remote work permanently Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced this week that they’re offering thousands of its’ employees the same opportunity. To start, the workforce at large will be remote until January 2021. Until then, employees can effectively “apply” for permanent remote status.
Zuckerberg plans to see the majority of its’ workforce remote over the next 5-10 years. Making this shift with its 48,000 employees worldwide across its 70 offices globally, this is the largest shift to remote work post-pandemic.
Receiving mixed feedback from the public, Zuckerberg stated that employees could work remotely from any city they’d like to. After a temporary “salary freeze” ends in January, Facebook will adjust employee salaries considering their new locations.
Most employers used a cost of living multiplier against the base salary before the pandemic. I expect that this will become a common practice as the rest of the worlds’ companies, both small and large, move to the remote lifestyles. When looking to recruit talented candidates to highly-populated cities, employers will offer a cost of living increase to adjust for the $10,000 a month for a 500 sq ft apt 2 hours away. $10,000 a month may be an exaggeration just maybe.
Buffer has a transparent display of its salaries, which has always factored in its remote employees’ specific locations. They’ve recently launched a Transparent Salary Calculator for you to play around with and see how a city’s cost of living can impact the salary an employee makes.
Remote Finance Complexities
When employees are working in states beyond the company’s existing footprint, that presents additional business compliance complexities. That relates specifically to payroll, employee withholding, and other tax nexuses for the company. For smaller companies, this may be more tedious of a task than those that are larger with more resources in the world of human resources and finance.
On Zuckerberg’s Livestream, he spoke to the importance of its’ employees informing their human resource team of the location they’re working from and the consequences if they don’t. This harsh policy is so that Facebook can properly withhold taxes based on the state, city, and municipality of where its’ employees are remote working.
I’m excited to see the continuous shift of the world to a more long-term remote work environment and even some of those offering more flexibility than what was provided before COVID-19.
Our team at the Bledsoe Collective has been working remotely since our founding in 2012. From a consulting perspective at Flare Partners, we’ve been able to support companies in making this shift over the years. Remote working is more than a zoom call; it requires a transformation of most of the business; rather, it’s’ recruiting & onboarding talent or launching a creative campaign.
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Jaylen D. Bledsoe is the Chairman of The Bledsoe Collective, an innovative + diversified media & communications parent company, a brand architect & speaker.