Asier, a 26-year-old Spaniard, earns 90,000 euros working as a data scientist at Walmart, the world’s largest company by revenue and employees, even though his boss is more than 9,000 kilometers away in California. While his case may seem strange at a time when many companies are returning to face-to-face work, it is a sign of what is happening with technology jobs and telecommuting around the world. Asier is the first Spaniard to be hired remotely by Walmart, and his hire took over a year to complete due to the amount of paperwork involved.
Although his situation is an exception, the company joins the long list of companies that have returned to face-to-face work and are asking employees to return to their offices at least four days a week. This is particularly significant for Walmart’s global technology team, which was one of the first to embrace remote work during the pandemic. Asier feels that his salary is good and that he would not change it, although he notes that if he worked in the US, he would earn around $250,000 a year.
Walmart’s announcement to close three technology centers and require most of its employees to return to the office has been surprising, especially given that the company is one of the few that has allowed its technology workers to remain remote. This is significant because Walmart is a leader, and this could be a signal to other companies considering how to approach remote work in the long term.
Although many companies are returning to in-person work, telecommuting remains popular in some sectors, especially among tech workers. It is possible that as the economic situation changes, companies will reconsider their approach and adopt a more flexible work policy.
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