Monday, April 04, 2022

Changing Benefits

I used to have a job that paid for my internet. It's worth noting that I was hired as an in person employee, the company made the decision that the rent on my office was too high, and so made us telecommuters and paid for our internet.
And then a few years later they decided to stop. They argued that everyone had internet anyway. Never mind that our telecommuting policy said that you should not be using said internet for anything other than work during the work day, should have any household member stream movies or other bandwidth hogs on a different internet or on non-work hours. 
The telecommuting policy also required a certain level of speed. 
And yes, I had internet before they paid for it. But I had internet that worked for watching a movie or doing whatever, but not necessarily for being in use for 40-80 hours a week of work. 
And let's note that the pay raises we received that year, were, for me at least, low enough that losing the free internet basically meant a net loss of pay that year. 
I thought of this as I was sent a job posting recently that wanted to hire people for a six week contract. The workers needed to have prior industry experience, pass a grammar and typing test, have their own computer, have their own internet of a certain speed, but they would get to telecommute. And yes, the salary was above minimum wage, but probably not once you include equipment and utility costs.
I talk a lot about telecommuting in part because of things like this. Telecommuting has pros and cons, but one of the biggest cons to my mind is the assumption that my space, that I pay rent on, my internet, that I pay, my desk, that I bought, my computer, that I bought, my accessories, that I bought, are all things I don't deserve to be compensated for when the employer wants me to use them for their convenience. 
That I should not just be grateful to be paid, even though the startup costs are all mine.