Author Topic: Working remotely vs regular (commuting) work - what would make you change job?  (Read 2211 times)

sequoia

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I could use some advice here, so any thoughts are welcomed and TIA.

So let's say you currently working remotely (working from home). You are making $xx plus benefits - matching 401K, paid vacation, health and dental insurance. This job comes with the benefit of being at home all the time, such as:
You can sneak in a load of laundry to help DW when work is a bit slow.
You have access to your kitchen anytime for food and snacks
Pretty flexible hour, such as if you need to run to pick up the kid from school or need to run errand during lunch hr
No commuting time, no getting stuck in traffic
No car/bike maintenance expenses
No gas usage so you are pretty great for the environment
No wardrobe expenses - can work in tshirt and shorts
etc

Some of the cons from the remote work:
Small stable company as of now. No chances of moving up in position due to small company. It is great position if you just want to do the same thing over and over again.
You get paid less than regular work, but see benefit above
It gets lonely sometime - no one else to talk to
No socializing - most of the coworker are in different states
Can be stressful, such as deadline is due, and you have no-one to speak to. You are communicating mostly via chat all day instead of face to face.
Sitting all day - no meeting to walk to, no co-worker office to visit and bs for a few min
Can be long hours because there is no "I am going home now"
Pitiful raise - 1 or 2% per year. This is for everyone. 
etc

The BIG question is, what would it take to pry you from your current work? Would a 20% raise with similar benefits and 15 min one way commuting job make you jump ship? How about 30% raise?

Tell me what would make you jump ship if you are in this situation?


« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 10:58:55 AM by sequoia »

Roots&Wings

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I telecommute, but am not stuck doing the same thing over and over (work is fairly interesting). Sitting all day is not an issue with options like a standing desk or mid-morning/afternoon workout breaks. Lack of people all around is actually a plus being an introvert :)

For me, it would take a min 100% pay increase to consider a normal office environment and lose telecommute perks, since productivity/happiness would suffer in a normal office environment. It's a highly individual trade-off and preference.

How much do you value working from home vs pay realized? What are your long-term financial goals? How will this impact FIRE plans?

sequoia

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I telecommute, but am not stuck doing the same thing over and over (work is fairly interesting). Sitting all day is not an issue with options like a standing desk or mid-morning/afternoon workout breaks. Lack of people all around is actually a plus being an introvert :)

For me, it would take a min 100% pay increase to consider a normal office environment and lose telecommute perks, since productivity/happiness would suffer in a normal office environment. It's a highly individual trade-off and preference.

How much do you value working from home vs pay realized? What are your long-term financial goals? How will this impact FIRE plans?


Thanks for replying. I do not mind so much being alone and sitting all day - I am way more productive when no one randomly wanting to bs with me in the office. I am just listing it here since I used to work in regular office before this gig, so I know both side of the world.

Work used to be fairly interesting, but I get good at what I do, so now it is not so interesting. I can probably do this half asleep if I want to.

Obviously any significant raise will impact FIRE. I am comfortable with what I am making - making more is always better, but I am not greedy sob hehe. I used to think that 50% increase would be the number for me to jump ship. Having said that, I am having second thoughts now, maybe 50% is too high - thus asking the community.

Cezil

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My SO is in a very similar situation - been at company for 5.5 years now.  Each of your points I said "Yep".  He’s got the cat for company.  And he tries to make calls rather than instant message people so he’s at least speaking to someone.  It’s the same stuff for work each day, but he breaks it up.  Goes out to lunch on occasion with a buddy, or one will stop over to chat for an hour with him, he goes for walks to local parks, and he might have something going in the background (tv turned down, or someone on Twitch tv always talking – this greatly helps with the feeling alone for 8-12 hours a day while I’m gone.  He will participate in the chat room every once in a while so they do actually talk to him, so it’s a nice way to keep “social” when it hits that there's no one else to talk to).  He’ll do his workouts, laundry, showering, cleaning – it’s enough to break it up.  We need to figure out how to keep the work “at work”/in the office area because sometimes the day is not over, even when I get home, and people still have questions/issues while we’re trying to do our personal stuff for the night (I’ve thought about getting a locking door knob for the office door, and once he says “I’m done for the day" I go lock the door and swallow the key.  We’ll need at least 2 copies of the key.)  But I hope some of the above suggestions are helpful.  (I'm kidding about the latter part of that key bit)

To answer your question, as sucky as the situation is, he can’t take an office job without at least 75-100% pay bump, probably more.  The work from home perk means he can go and visit his mom for 3-5 weeks each year and work from her home, instead.  He works during the day, hangs out afterwards and on weekends.  Does she have a surgery coming up he can be there for?  Did 96 year old grandma have a fall and break a hip/have another health issue?  He can be there to say goodbye, etc..  If he were to get an office job, he’d lose that, hardly ever see his mom (who lives 1,000 miles away), wouldn’t get to help out around the house, couldn’t visit his parks or his buddies, have to go get some more business casual clothes to wear, work normal hours (and deal with traffic), etc.  So it’d require some real cash to change the situation.  This of course may change at any point, but works for now.

Stachetastic

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I recently had to answer this question in reverse. I was offered a position within my company that was 100% home based (I currently work from home approximately 2 days/week), but it involved a 12% pay cut. After much deliberation, including posting here for advice, I declined the offer. My office is 2 miles from my home, so commute time is negligible. At the end of the day, I was really concerned about feeling so isolated at home all day. I'm not really an extrovert, but I feared my mental health would suffer if I went days without being exposed to people aside from my husband and kid.

That said, I know many people who love telecommuting and wouldn't give it up for any amount. I felt like my perfect job would be a mix of working from home and in an office, and I realized I already have that.

apricity22

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I recently made the jump to working at home. For me it resulted in a 12% decrease in pay but with bonus potential/raises not available in my old job that may eventually make things break even (or hopefully I'll even get ahead).

The freedom is pretty nice. I do enjoy being able to run an errand in the middle of the day without feeling like I have to ask permission from somebody. Also, I can switch work days around without needing to get it approved or people wondering where I am. For example, I recently worked a Saturday in exchange for a Monday because it was better for my personal life.

I've also had the freedom of traveling with my girlfriend on some of her work trips. For the cost of an extra plane ticket (which often we can just purchase using miles accumulated from previous work trips), I just work from her hotel and we have the evenings to explore a new city together.

I am an introvert so one of the big advantages for me is NOT being around other people all day. I do find that I am more eager to see my girlfriend when she gets home and I am more likely to want to see my friends in the evenings and/or weekends but those are both good things. In my job, I do have to travel to the home office (out of state) every couple of months and I do travel to client locations so I don't always feel stuck at home.

I don't think that working from home is for everybody. You do have to be somewhat self motivated so you don't sleep in everyday, do personal things all day etc. I know for some people the lack of social interaction would be very difficult but that just happens to be a plus for me.



mxt0133

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I recently had to answer this question in reverse. I was offered a position within my company that was 100% home based (I currently work from home approximately 2 days/week), but it involved a 12% pay cut. After much deliberation, including posting here for advice, I declined the offer. My office is 2 miles from my home, so commute time is negligible. At the end of the day, I was really concerned about feeling so isolated at home all day. I'm not really an extrovert, but I feared my mental health would suffer if I went days without being exposed to people aside from my husband and kid.

That said, I know many people who love telecommuting and wouldn't give it up for any amount. I felt like my perfect job would be a mix of working from home and in an office, and I realized I already have that.

Why would you get a pay cut?  Are your hours reduced by 12% or will you be given less responsibilities?

If anything they should give you a raise because your not using their facilities, water, electricity to do your work.

WTF!

jjcamembert

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I worked remotely for 8 months, and when I started I thought it was going to be the ideal work situation for me. The biggest negative for me was just not leaving the house. I was renting a 2BR apartment where one was my office, but then when I was done working it still felt like I hadn't left. On the positive side though, working an alternative schedule was great: bike rides or hikes mid-day, avoiding crowds on weekdays, etc. Another conflict I had with schedule though was that my wife started a job with a traditional schedule, so then you're kinda forced into working on weekdays and fun things on weekends anyway.

I ended up switching to an office job for a variety of reasons, one of which was that I didn't enjoy the work I was doing remotely. I almost feel like you need to enjoy the work more to work remotely, because you need extra motivation to work at home, otherwise it's just a grind (grinding out hours). I actually took a pay cut when I took this job. Now I can work from home on occasion, but I actually don't mind going in these days. I have a pretty sweet office and computer setup and the environment is really laid-back, so my answer might be different if I was in cubicles in a corporate environment.

Stachetastic

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I recently had to answer this question in reverse. I was offered a position within my company that was 100% home based (I currently work from home approximately 2 days/week), but it involved a 12% pay cut. After much deliberation, including posting here for advice, I declined the offer. My office is 2 miles from my home, so commute time is negligible. At the end of the day, I was really concerned about feeling so isolated at home all day. I'm not really an extrovert, but I feared my mental health would suffer if I went days without being exposed to people aside from my husband and kid.

That said, I know many people who love telecommuting and wouldn't give it up for any amount. I felt like my perfect job would be a mix of working from home and in an office, and I realized I already have that.

Why would you get a pay cut?  Are your hours reduced by 12% or will you be given less responsibilities?

If anything they should give you a raise because your not using their facilities, water, electricity to do your work.

WTF!

Nope and nope. My company considers telecommuting a benefit in its own right, worthy of a pay cut. Obviously I don't feel the same. I negotiated hard for more money, but they wouldn't budge.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 05:47:17 AM by Stachetastic »

BeanCounter

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100% telecommute is not for me. Ideally I'd have 1-2 days per week of telecommute and in the office the rest of the week. I'm not doing that currently, I'm telecommuting on an as needed basis.
The biggest downfall to telecommute IMHO is that it really limits your potential for promotions. At least that has been my experience.

havregryn

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I recently got on a 50% telecommute schedule where I work in the office between 8 and 12 and then go home to work another 4 hours at home.
If someone asked me what would make me go back to working full time in the office my answer would be NOTHING. EVER. I already told my boss that if anything happened that would compromise this arrangement I would reduce my hours accordingly (because my job is such that I would be legally entitled to reduce my hours until my kids turn 12).
My job is not the most exciting thing a person with my background can do and I thought I'd try to get an internal transfer to something more fun but since a more exciting job might not be as compatible with this schedule I am not even thinking about it anymore. I love this too much.

MrsDinero

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I've been working from a home office for 2 years and love it.  I've been at the company for 6 years, have good pay, and good benefits.  The work is somewhat the same in that I work with a specific product line but it is constantly evolving and I work with different clients so that makes it very interesting.   

There is almost zero chance of promotion for me in my current role, but that is ok with me.  If I got promoted I would have to become a road warrior again and travel to corporate more often.  I keep my interesting full time job, I get to spend as much time with my kids (we have a nanny instead of taking them to a day care center), I have no commute time, and I can continue to meet my savings goals.  I like to think I have the best of both worlds. 

ETA: To answer your question, pretty much nothing could make me want to change my current work setup.

sequoia

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I recently had to answer this question in reverse. I was offered a position within my company that was 100% home based (I currently work from home approximately 2 days/week), but it involved a 12% pay cut. After much deliberation, including posting here for advice, I declined the offer. My office is 2 miles from my home, so commute time is negligible. At the end of the day, I was really concerned about feeling so isolated at home all day. I'm not really an extrovert, but I feared my mental health would suffer if I went days without being exposed to people aside from my husband and kid.

That said, I know many people who love telecommuting and wouldn't give it up for any amount. I felt like my perfect job would be a mix of working from home and in an office, and I realized I already have that.

Why would you get a pay cut?  Are your hours reduced by 12% or will you be given less responsibilities?

If anything they should give you a raise because your not using their facilities, water, electricity to do your work.

WTF!

Nope and nope. My company considers telecommuting a benefit in its own right, worthy of a pay cut. Obviously I don't feel the same. I negotiated hard for more money, but they wouldn't budge.

Whoa... that is weird (for the lack of better term here). I agree with @mxt0133 that if anything, they should give you a raise because the company can save cost on providing an office/cubicle and parking spot along with other services (water, electric, etc).