Covid-19 Disrupts Delicate Relationship Between Silicon Valley Tech Companies And Their Workers
Tech companies in Silicon Valley set the standard for unconventional workspaces. Most offices in the San Francisco Bay area look more like recreational centers than actual business places. Employers put in a lot of effort to ensure that their workers get everything they need and more. Most of these companies have completely ditched the traditional table and chair style that has been a norm in offices for years. They have replaced them with more comfortable seating arrangements. This is why a lot of people are signing up for bootcamps online. Everyone wants to be a part of the tech world.
All the changes in modern Silicon Valley offices are put in place to increase the productivity of the workers. The more satisfied the worker is, the more open-minded they would be about working with the company. Let’s not forget about the huge salaries and benefits these workers get yearly. The average Silicon Valley worker cashes in about $151,000 every year plus bonuses. This is why it’s not a surprise that software engineers from different parts of the world can be found in Silicon Valley looking for greener pastures. Unfortunately, the good relationship between the Silicon Valley tech firms and their workers is being threatened by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tension Rises Between Silicon Valley Tech Companies and Workers
If the Silicon Valley tech companies take such good care of their workers, what is responsible for rising tensions? For one thing, blame the coronavirus pandemic. Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic started, most companies in the valley have closed their doors and moved to virtual offices. Since their jobs can typically be completed from home, these tech workers have not lost their opportunities like millions of other workers.
While working from home, many of these tech workers decided to relocate from Silicon Valley. You see, most of these tech workers in Silicon Valley don’t like staying in there as much as they should. They are primarily interested in the salaries they get from working with these companies. Life in Silicon Valley is sleek and sophisticated but it’s also unbelievably expensive. Right now, only major executives and specialists can lead expensive lives in the Valley. Some have to sacrifice savings to enjoy luxuries now and then. Some others can only afford to pay for rent, food, and some other necessary things. There is hardly anything left after all the payments have been made.
Instead of spending $100,000 yearly to live in the Valley, experts are moving to Texas and other cheaper states where they can survive comfortably with around $50,000 to $70,000 yearly. Since they can keep working no matter where they are, they don’t see the point in staying in the San Francisco Bay area. It would make sense to spend only $70,000 yearly from a $175,000 salary, would it not? Remote work is the standard but it has changed tech salaries in Silicon Valley forever.
The tech companies are not willing to keep paying Silicon Valley salaries to workers who live in Denver, Texas, or any other state for that matter. So, Facebook is leading a group of companies in the Valley threatening to cut the salaries of workers who flee the Valley. Facebook has officially said that they are considering a 10% slash in tech salaries for every person who decides to move from the tech hub. They can keep their jobs as long as they agree to accept the salary cut in good faith. VMware has also promised to cut salaries significantly between 8% to 18%.
The threats of remote salary slashes are the primary reason behind the growing tension between these companies and their workers. The workers aren’t excited about the salary cuts and the companies have proven that they are not going to reconsider. These companies claim that adjusting salaries to match the cost of living of each environment is standard practice in the corporate world.
The threats of salary cuts may have discouraged some workers from leaving the Valley but those who are determined to leave have already moved. However, there are ongoing talks about the current situation. In the next few months, things will become clearer. There are already rumors about a tech talent uprising in the Valley. Other workers who are staying don’t think it’s fair for their colleagues to face salary cuts because they choose to relocate.
A blog by Ufuoma Nora Ogono