$30,000 Raise or Full-time Telework?

Here’s a question for you: If you had a choice between a $30,000 raise and teleworking full-time, what would you chose?

According to a story in The Business Journals, 64% of respondents in a survey would forgo the extra cash and work at home. About 67% of Google respondents preferred permanent work-from-home, as well as 64% of Amazon, 62% of Microsoft, 69% of Apple, 76% of Salesforce and 47% of JPMorgan Chase employees.

My knee-jerk reaction was “Oh, good grief, no brainer. I would stay home.”

But then I thought about it. Consider that 40% of Americans are living one paycheck away from financial disaster, without any retirement savings and without the recommended six months to a year of living expenses in cash to hold them over in case of job loss from things like, say, pandemics. Also consider that after taxes, that $30K a year is roughly an extra $1,700 a month. If you have kids, that can go toward their college funds. If you are young and just starting out, you can put that toward buying your first home or paying down student loan debt. Others may put that into paying off their mortgage sooner or retiring earlier. No matter what, it puts you in a much better place to negotiate terms in your next job, one that may pay you just as much or more and offer telework.

I realize that everyone is different. For example, if you have small children and are a single parent or both parents work, much of that extra $1,700 a month could be eaten up by childcare. My point is that if you were getting by and saving on your current salary without hardship (big “if” these days, I know), then it’s found money just for doing what you did before the pandemic as there is no law saying you have to spend it. There’s a reason most of the financial folks would take the money: They know what can be done with it over time. Therefore, I would take the money and talk to them about how it can work for me so I can retire earlier and then spend my days thinking of things to write about for fun, like this.