TECHNOLOGY

Google employees get confused as remote workers face pay cuts


This issue of fairness is what irritates people. If employees think they are getting a tough deal, they will not react well. over there Experiment, conducted by Emory University primatologists Sarah Brosnan and France de Waal. Two capuchins complete the same task for the same reward – a piece of cucumber. But after a while, one monkey is given a tastier grape. The other monkey notices and extends her hand, but when another piece of cucumber is passed, go berserkCucumbers come out of the cage and refuse to continue doing their job.

The same type of tantrum occurs when a young child is given half a biscuit, after seeing his brother get a whole one. And no matter how old we get, we can’t stop our brains from firing when we feel like we’ve suffered an injustice. But instead of triggering a tantrum, we retaliate in other ways.

At work, that can mean quitting smoking. De Vesine isn’t the only one who has done this. “Google keeps stressing it’s a natural decrease, and I think you can make the numbers tell both stories,” she says. “But it seems to be louder and more elderly-oriented than I’ve seen earlier when I’m leaving, and I’ve seen a continuation of that.”

Even if people don’t quit, they can revolt in different ways. “If you feel like your employer treats you poorly, it’s only natural that you don’t work hard,” says Brian Krupp, head of human resources research at consultancy Gartner. He explains that there is a shift in mindset, if people feel they are not being paid fairly for their contributions, why should they contribute more, or even at all? “It might be worse than leaving,” he says, “they quit where they are.”

a study Researchers at Columbia University found that employees reduced their productivity at work by 52 percent when they discovered that their co-workers earned higher salaries. They were also 13.5 percentage points less likely to appear (compared to an attendance base of 94 percent). So even if employees reluctantly take cuts to their pay, they are likely to respond by working with half the effort.

Arguably the worst part of the fallout is what he says about the companies implementing these wage cuts. Kendra, an information engineer at Google’s Seattle campus, saw how employees’ attitudes toward the company had changed. “I’ve talked to a number of different people who are leaving the company directly because they don’t see an opportunity to grow within our organization,” she says.

Kendra decided to go back to the office, rather than take a pay cut equivalent to losing a recent pay increase that took years to get. “But I also have an incredibly flexible boss,” she says. Her manager had already told her that she would not need to come to the office for three full days a week. But what if that wasn’t an option? “I think he would have set a deadline for my engagement,” she says. Simply put, she would have resigned within a year.



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