Top Tech Companies Give Employees $1,000 Stipends
Last week, Facebook announced it will allow its employees to work from home until July of 2021 — the latest in a string of similar announcements from big tech companies. Google had already announced a work from home policy until next July, and Twitter has even gone so far as to tell employees that they can work from home indefinitely, if that’s what they want.
Some of these tech giants — Facebook and Google in particular — are also giving employees $1,000 stipends on top of their usual salaries. Here’s why their employees are getting stipends, and why we think other employers should consider following suit:
What’s with the $1,000?
Working from home till July of 2021 (at least) is hardly a temporary adjustment — that’s at least 11 more months that employees can expect to be cooped up in their home offices. With that in mind, Facebook and Google have both chosen to supplement the income of their full-time employees with a $1,000 stipend, intended in both cases to help employees buy equipment for their home workspace.
After all, the benefits many of these big offices offer — amazing food, in-office amenities, etc. — are moot in the age of corona. It makes sense, therefore, that companies like Facebook and Google are taking an extra step to ensure their employees can enjoy a comfortable work environment, in or out of the office. Additionally, as companies look into the possibility of optimizing communal offices in the years to come, it makes plenty of sense to incentivize employees to optimize their work-from-home spaces.
Should other companies be following suit?
During this period of upheaval, it makes more than a little sense for employers to compensate employees for certain new or unexpected costs — especially considering the fact that many employers have experienced a decrease in certain overhead costs.
For companies for whom $1,000 out of pocket seems like a prohibitive expense, consider that under the Stafford Act, disaster relief payments to employees are not only tax-free for them, but also tax-deductible for employers. So for as long as COVID-19 is designated a national disaster, providing employees with a little extra pocket money for the necessities might be easier than you think. For more information on what qualifies as a disaster relief payment, click here.
Unsure how you can utilize benefits to help employees through this trying time? We’re happy to help! Email us at email@example.com.