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Monthly Archives: October 2009

Next in externalizing costs: Pay rent for your desk at work?

Remember several months back when Microsoft forced its contingent staff (also known as contractors or permatemps) to take a 10% pay cut? This same pay cut ended up being quite a bit more than 10% for many, especially for those who were forced to leave a contract and come back under a new contract.

Office Desk For RentWell, apparently Microsoft isn’t done in it’s quest to increase its bottom line.  The last pay cut drew a lot of negative publicity, since Microsoft was seen as taking advantage of the weak economy and in turn, hurting the local economy even more.  So, Microsoft is looking to use a more indirect approach by externalizing more of its costs.

Rumor has it that Microsoft is going to require its contractors who are categorized as “Vendors” (also known as “vee dash” since their email addresses start with a “v-”) to pay rent for the desks that they are using within the Microsoft facilities.  Microsoft’s rationale behind it is that these contractors can work on Microsoft’s projects anywhere, so providing a desk and a chair within the Microsoft facilities is considered a “service to the contractor”.  Microsoft is allegedly going to start charging the vendor class of contractors $400 per month starting in January of 2010.

So, you may be asking, “What is the difference between a vendor class contractor and the other contractors at Microsoft?”  Well, as far as job function goes, there really isn’t any difference.  They work on the same projects and in the same groups at Microsoft.  The differences are administrative.  One difference that many are familiar with is that vendor class contractors are not required to take a 100 day break from Microsoft after a year of service.  Vendor class contractors are also required to provide their own computer.  And apparently, starting in January, these contractors will be required to pay rent to Microsoft in order to have a desk to work at within the Microsoft facilities.  Not surprisingly, vendor class contracting appears to be becoming Microsoft’s preferred way of doing business when it comes to onsite staff.

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