Do you want to work from home post-pandemic? Will you be forced into a pay cut? Read these pros and cons before deciding


Twitter, Square, Shopify and Facebook  employees were told they can work from home even after the pandemic ends.

“As we’ve become accustomed to working outside the office, it’s become clear that we don’t need everyone to be physically present to do great work,” Lori Goler, vice president of people at Facebook said in a post on Thursday “From now on, we are moving toward making remote work a more permanent part of our culture.”

Shopify
SHOP,
+2.05%

Chief Executive Tobi Lutke echoed Facebook’s
FB,
-0.52%

announcement tweeting later that day that “office centricity is over” and most workers should expect to permanently work from home well after the pandemic.

Twitter, however, was the first major company to announce a permanent work-from-home option. “Opening offices will be our decision, when and if our employees come back, will be theirs,” states a Twitter post from May 12.

The work-from-home options may not be applicable to or, indeed, welcomed by all workers. If you work at Facebook and you move to a cheaper city you may have to take a pay cut, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees on Thursday.

For instance, roles related to office security or in-office operations can only be performed in the office, a Square
SQ,
+0.33%

spokeswoman told MarketWatch. Similarly, a Twitter spokeswoman said that employees who work in data centers won’t be able to work remotely once it is safe for them to return to work.

Other companies like Google
GOOG,
-0.30%

GOOGL,
-0.44%
,
Visa
V,
-0.47%

and American Express
AXP,
-0.98%

have gone ahead and told workers they continue to be working from home well into next year. There’s no word on whether they will allow workers to permanently work from home.

“Visa continues to closely monitor COVID-19 and its impact globally, while prioritizing the health and well-being of our employees,” said Will Stickney, a Visa spokesman. “As a result, we expect a majority of Visa’s workforce will continue to work from home through the 2020 calendar year.”

(American Express declined to comment. Google and Shopify did not respond to requests for comment.)

Don’t miss:‘I was told I could never work remotely’: Before coronavirus, workers with disabilities say they implored employers to allow them to work from home

Certainly, there are benefits to working from home — you don’t have to worry about getting caught in traffic and showing up late to a meeting. Perhaps your coworker who leaves the office microwave a mess or who tries to walk over others to get ahead will no longer come into the office.

But that decision may come with some significant costs. Consider these pros and cons:

Pro: You could save up to $5,000 in commuting costs

Depending on what state you’re from, you could spend between $2,000 and $5,000 a year on commuting, according to calculations by Business Insider based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau. You could also save you a total of 9.4 days a year from the time spent commuting, according to an May survey of nearly 3,000 American workers published by Global Workplace Analytics, a San Diego-based workplace consultancy firm.

That means you could wake up later, spend less on gasoline, said Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics. It may even make sense to get rid of your car altogether, she said. Lister said she sold her car after she began working from home years before coronavirus. She now shares one car with her husband. (To calculate the total amount of money you could save by teleworking check out this employee savings calculator)

Con: You may end up having to pay for your own WiFi and electricity

Employees at Square and Facebook may not be compensated for work-related costs if they choose to work from home on a daily basis. (Both companies declined to comment.) Twitter
TWTR,
-0.55%

employees, however, will be compensated for the cost of Wi-Fi and receive a stipend for their at-home office setup, a spokeswoman said.

“The costs of potentially upgrading to speedier Wi-Fi, acquiring office supplies and setting up an ergonomic-friendly workspace could add up if your employer is unable to offer additional financial support,” said Sarah Stoddard, a Glassdoor career trends expert. But the amount you’re saving on commuting should make up for that cost, Lister added.

Pro: You could move to a city where rent is cheaper

Typically non-remote workers live in areas close to where they work. That often means a high cost of living, especially in cities like New York or San Francisco. Even if you still plan on going into your office once a week, an hour drive may not be all the bad when you factor in how much you could save, Lister said. Your company, like Facebook, may insist you take a pay cut to compensate for that.

Related: Work-from-home productivity pickup has tech CEOs predicting many employees will never come back to the office

Con: You may miss out on brainstorming or a promotion

If you’re teleworking, it may be harder for you to impress your boss, which may mean losing out on a promotion, Stoddard said. But you can find new ways to demonstrate your involvement and impact at work if you choose to permanently work from home. “Even minor tactics like turning on your video during virtual meetings, providing an additional perspective in email threads and delivering timely status reports to your manager can go a long way,” she said.

Con: You may lose out on social aspects of work

Research that socialization at work can lead to a less stressful work environment. By working from home you may miss out on happy hours, birthday celebrations and casual one-on-one lunches with coworkers. There’s also a lot to be said for office banter and brainstorming over the water cooler, workplace consultants say, and you would be saved from the seemingly endless deluge of daily Slack
WORK,
+0.46%

messages.





Original source link

Facebook employees may face pay cut if they move to cheaper areas to work from home


Mark Zuckerberg says he expects about half of Facebook Inc.’s employees to work from home five to 10 years from now, but there’s a catch for those expecting to take their fat Silicon Valley salaries and live like kings in a rural area.

As in, a pay cut.

The Facebook
FB,
+0.61%

chief executive laid out the company’s future remote-working plans during a videoconference with employees Thursday. Zuckerberg said Facebook will “aggressively” ramp up the hiring of remote workers, though not all employees would be allowed to permanently work from home, at least at the start.

And those who choose to work where the cost of living is less should expect to be paid less.

“That means if you live in a location where the cost of living is dramatically lower, or the cost of labor is lower, then salaries do tend to be somewhat lower in those places,” Zuckerberg said.

Facebook already pays based on location, but Zuckerberg said employees working remotely must notify Facebook if they move to a new area before Jan. 1, 2021.

“We’ll adjust salary to your location at that point,” he said, noting it will be necessary to take taxes into account. “There’ll be severe ramifications for people who are not honest about this.”

That may put a crimp in the plans of some workers hoping to make their salaries go a lot farther in cheaper areas. A recent survey of San Francisco Bay Area tech workers found two-thirds would consider moving away from the pricey area if they could work remotely. “It makes no sense paying Bay Area rent if we can earn our salary living elsewhere,” one startup employee told Bloomberg News.

As of 2018, the median employee compensation at Facebook was more than $240,000 a year. The median home price in Menlo Park, Calif., where the tech giant has its headquarters, is $2.4 million, according to Zillow, while the median home price in the wider Bay Area was $928,000 last year.

Zuckerberg said that in a company survey, of the people who said they would want to work remotely full time, about 45% were “pretty confident” that they would move to another place if they had that opportunity, with an additional 30% saying they “might” move. About 60% of that total said they’d prefer to move to a smaller city or town.

Ultimately, Zuckerberg said the changes will help Facebook become more diverse in its workforce.

“When you limit hiring to people who either live in a small number of big cities or are willing to move there, that cuts out a lot of people who live in different communities, different backgrounds or may have different perspectives,” he said. “Certainly being able to recruit more broadly, especially across the U.S. and Canada to start, is going to open up a lot of new talent that previously wouldn’t have considered moving to a big city.”

About 95% of Facebook’s employees are currently working from home due to coronavirus stay-at-home orders. The company has previously said workers will be able to work from home at least through the end of the year.



Original source link

‘Investors who own Airbnb properties are looking for immediate liquidity.’ Is this a good time to buy a home?


The coronavirus pandemic sent shock waves throughout the real-estate industry. But does that make now a good time to put in an offer on a property?

The answer to that question will largely depend on what you plan to do with the home — particularly if you’re an investor.

“It’s a good time to buy an investment property if you can find inventory at a good price,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president of market economics at real-estate website Auction.com.


‘You shouldn’t expect a low price and that you may not have a lot of options to choose from.’


— Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com

But finding homes at a good price could be something of a challenge.

When the coronavirus pandemic began to trigger stay-at-home orders across the country, it upended the home-buying process.

Companies that specialize in buying and selling homes for a profit put a temporary pause on operations, and real-estate agents had to innovate, moving toward virtual open houses and remote closings to adhere to social-distancing protocols.

With the backdrop of these changes — plus the rapid rise in unemployment — sellers responded by pulling their listings. New listings were down more than 44% in April compared with the previous year, according to data from Realtor.com.

That meant there were roughly 189,000 fewer homes on the market last month than during the same period in 2019. At the same time, new-home construction slowed in April as many builders became concerned about the state of the housing industry amid the pandemic.

Only 50% of Americans believe it’s a good time to buy a home, an all-time low, Gallup poll says

“That doesn’t mean it’s a bad time to buy an investment property, just that you shouldn’t expect a low price and that you may not have a lot of options to choose from,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com.

Before the coronavirus crisis began, economists had warned that the U.S. housing market was starved for supply. Years of slow home-building activity in the wake of the financial crisis has meant that the number of homes for sale was falling well short of demand.

The mortgage industry is facing a crisis because of the coronavirus — and borrowers could fall through the cracks

The apprehension among home sellers and builders could exacerbate that problem — especially if the housing market sees a V-shaped recovery. Indeed, there is already evidence that buyers are returning to the market, particularly in states where stay-at-home orders have been loosened.


Another factor making it harder for people to score a deal on an investment property: The lack of foreclosures.

Another factor making it harder for people to score a deal on an investment property: The lack of foreclosures, due to foreclosure moratoriums. “We’re seeing many investors who primarily acquired at the courthouse foreclosure auction migrate to buy bank-owned (REO) homes via online auction, which also provides the added benefit of allowing them to buy with no in-person interaction,” Blomquist said. The added competition for these homes could drive up the prices.

However, there are some categories of properties that could start to come on the market in droves in the coming months. The downturn in travel has wiped out the bookings for people who owned vacation homes and rent them out on websites like Airbnb and VRBO.

Many of these people relied on the income generated from these short-term rentals to pay for their mortgage. “I don’t think many of those folks have the reserves that Marriott or that Hilton does,” Glenn Kelman, Chief Executive of Redfin
RDFN,
+4.92%

told MarketWatch. “Investors who own Airbnb properties are looking for immediate liquidity.”

Similarly, many mom-and-pop landlords are struggling as tenants miss rent payments. Like vacation-home owners, those payments tend to go directly toward the mortgage. Savvy investors could find a solid buying opportunity by making an attractive offer to these property owners.


‘Looking at the housing market right now, it’s hard to say that prices are low.’


— Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com

But investors in the housing market should also consider their end goal. Those looking to buy a home and hold onto it in the long term, particularly as a rental property, won’t face as much risk. Indeed, 64% of investors who primarily buy investment properties as rentals said they planned to increase or keep their acquisitions, despite the pandemic, according to a recent survey from Auction.com.

It’s a different question for someone looking to buy a home and then immediately flip it. That could turn into a very risky bet, given that it’s not clear where real-estate prices will go. “For investments, you always want to buy low and sell high,” Hale said. “Looking at the housing market right now, it’s hard to say that prices are low.”

While many economists predict that home prices will continue to rise, much will depend on the economy’s ability to bounce back from the pandemic. Home price appreciation has slowed so far, Hale said, but prices are still rising.

“What makes this time unique in recent history — and truly unprecedented — is the uncertainty in the weeks and months ahead,” said Mike DelPrete, an independent real-estate industry analyst. “No one knows with any degree of certainty what will happen. There are a lot of unknowns, and the overall pandemic situation has to play its hand.”



Original source link

Lowe’s sales surge as lockdowns spur home improvement spending By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Lowe’s retail store is shown in Carlsbad, California

(Reuters) – Lowe’s Cos Inc (N:) reported its biggest rise in quarterly same-store sales in at least 15 years on Wednesday, as people spent more on tools and paint for do-it-yourself projects and home repairs during the coronanvirus lockdowns.

The home improvement chain also handily beat quarterly profit estimates, sending its shares up 7% premarket, a day after larger rival Home Depot Inc (NYSE:)’s

More time on people’s hands due to shelter-in-place orders and government stimulus checks have allowed many to go for small repairs, painting, gardening, and other projects, boosting sales for Lowe’s and Home Depot.

Online sales for Lowe’s surged 80% in the quarter, after the company limited operating hours and implemented social distancing measures at its stores to minimize the risk of the virus spreading.

Analysts at Wedbush on Home Depot’s profit miss said the company was restricting traffic at its stores more than Lowe’s and that Home Depot’s business is also more reliant on big-ticket purchases from builders, handymen and plumbers, who have cut spending during the crisis.

The massive jump in Lowe’s sales also offset higher expenses to compensate employees working during the health crisis.

Net earnings rose 27.8% to $1.34 billion, or $1.76 per share, in the first quarter ended May 1.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.77 per share, beating estimates of a profit of $1.32 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Lowe’s same-store sales jumped 11.2%, while analysts were expecting only a 3.4% increase. The surge was the highest since at least April 2005, according to Refinitiv data.

Home Depot reported a 6.4% rise in same-store sales on Tuesday.

Lowe’s total net sales rose nearly 11% to $19.68 billion, but the company said it would suspend share buybacks for the rest of the year.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





Original source link

Work From Home? You Probably Still Have a Job By Bloomberg


© Bloomberg. 

<p>    </p>
<p>” id=”carouselImage” src=”https://d1-invdn-com.akamaized.net/content/pic8bdf5ff060afe1273779f0268ce4983c.jpg” style=”visibility:hidden”/><span class=© Bloomberg.

    


(Bloomberg) — Record unemployment in April, like most of the impact of the deadly coronavirus epidemic, did not hit all Americans equally. 

Jobs that aren’t compatible with telecommuting were among the hardest hit, while industries with more work-from-home capabilities had some of the lowest unemployment rates, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Financial, professional services and the information industry reported lower than average joblessness. Leisure and hospitality was more than double the April rate for all Americans. The only exception to the trend were jobs in industries deemed essential, such as construction, manufacturing and transportation and utilities.

Only 29% of U.S. workers can work from home. In April, the unemployment rate more than tripled to 14.7%.

 

 

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    

” src=”https://d1-invdn-com.akamaized.net/content/pic8bdf5ff060afe1273779f0268ce4983c.jpg” alt=”© Bloomberg.

    

“>

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





Original source link