As COVID-19 is ending/easing, recruitment companies are trying to lower salaries / day rates by justifying the position is now “mostly remote” or “remote”. This is bullshit.
We were always working remote.
Taking away most of the commute does not make it remote.
Pre-covid we used to waste a big chunk of our day but going to the office, getting tired before work starts, and getting into uncomfortable workplace.
We put noise-cancelling headphones on to block the office environment.
We spent majority of meetings online on Teams, Slack or whatever the corporate messaging platform is.
We work during commute whenever possible in terrible conditions - uncomfortable busy trains, buses etc. most of the time not being able to. And if we can’t, we would use our phones to reply to emails and instant messaging apps to help with customer requests. How the hell is this not remote?
And then coming home late mostly to get to bed and wake up to commute again.
So what’s the cost saving for us, developers, by working “remote”?
We benefit from it mostly by saving on mental health, and I can’t think of more to be honest. There are side benefits as well for spending more time with families (whoever has one) and self-care. But who are really benefitting from this is companies we work for - now they need to pay zero costs for our gym memberships and other benefits we take to stay sane.
What are the other benefits companies have?
Developers stay focused and productive, as they are free to set up their own workplace in a way they want.
If you as a company used to pay for commute, now this is gone too.
Most of the time developers do work longer hours than usual, because they can. This crowd is not going to work to clock hours, most of us are working the job because we genuinely like it. It’s usual to see people working much longer hours now, and not being tired.
Then, office space is expensive, free coffee is expensive, and all the small things combined like office supplies, power, hardware, furniture, you name is adding up to quite a bit. And you need to hire people and pay them salaries to run the office. Extra people are very expensive.
But you also get extra productivity i.e. free developer hours which are really really expensive.
And I’ve just started this morning rant and given more time can find many more reasons.
Therefore think again, do you still want to offer me lower salary? You better do the job yourself. Fully remote.
We need to rethink this as a community, and raise prices for our services as companies are now getting more in return than usual.