Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

My recent survival through another round of layoff bought me extra months of employment, but still no certainty. I guess in this economy, no job is certain.

I was told yesterday that my company intends to sublease our office space. Once a sublessee is found, my company tentatively plans for us to work from home. I think most people would be ecstatic with this arrangement, but I am a bit ambivalent.

Initially, although the exact date is unknown, this transition is expected to take place some time in June '09. I suspect that at that time, the company will have another round of layoffs. So, there's no guarantee that I'll be employed beyond that.

Secondly, even if I am asked to work from home, I currently live in a 1 BR apartment. I presently don't have space to do work at home. If I upgraded to a 2 BR apartment, I would have to pay an additional $350 - $400 each month in rent.

The good news is, I can probably afford this increase in my rent since I'm expecting to pay off my car loan in June '09. The bad news is, I was planning to roll over my monthly car payments into my monthly credit card payments. I'm very disappointed that half of that would now be eaten up by increased rent payments. :-(

Finally, I'm tired of this rolling layoffs. I realize no job is safe, but with my current job, a layoff is not a matter of if, but when. This ongoing uncertainty is wearing me down and my motivation to work hard is at an all-time low. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but as much as this recent news was good, it also has its drawbacks.


Sallie's Niece said...

Wow that sucks. As much as I like the idea of working from home sometimes I would probably be too distracted to get as much work done as I can do in the office. On the plus side, I'd definitely would save money! Why are there so many layoffs at your company? Have you been job searching at all? It's good you survived the layoffs though!

Anonymous said...

A couple of things, which I know from reading employment contracts I shouldn't have (heh) back in my Office Manager days...

- You can claim a tax deduction of up to 1/3 of your rent if you have a home office. So that means not paying tax on, for example, $300x12=$ depending on your tax bracket, you'll be able to keep another ~$1000 of your salary.

- It's probably not a good idea to push it with a company that's in financial trouble, but it might be worth raising this one: you can negotiate a home office stipend. I had a boss who worked from home one day a week and got way too much money for that (especially since I'm pretty sure his "home office" was a golf course), literally $1000 a month. For one freaking day. Anyway, if your company is saving a ton of money by not paying rent on office space, as a group, you all might be able to get a token $100 or so to mitigate the need for more space at home.

Just some ideas to keep an extra bit of money in your pocket, even if it's not the full $350 or so.

Anonymous said...

My company may close down our whole branch. We find it the next two weeks. It's scary. Little bit stressful.

Shtinkykat said...

sallie: I work for an insurance company who no longer writes new business. With no new business, the writing's on the wall. I haven't looked for a new job because I want the generous severance payment they are offering.

MMkate: That's awesome to know! Thanks! Yeah, I don't think I'm going to push for a office stipend since it's clear that the other option is a boot.

MOU: OMG. I'm so sorry to hear about that. I know what you're going through and how stressful it is. This is really lame but try to stay positive and focus on things you can control. Don't focus on stuff you can't control since it's just wasted effort.

Anonymous said...

As you might know the same exact thing happened at my former company. Even though I didnt get laid off as soon as I've heard from other people about the lay off, I started looking for a new job.So my recopmendation to you instead of focusing where you are working right now, go ahead look for a new adventure!