Most workers believe they're underpaid, as research has long shown. But what about the ones who don't?
The anonymous chat app Blind, popular among tech workers, asked employees of top tech companies how they feel about their pay. While only 5 percent overall said they believed they were overpaid, at Google the percentage was double. At Facebook, nearly 14 percent of workers felt overpaid, and at Netflix, more employees considered themselves overpaid than underpaid (10 percent versus 9 percent).
Engineers at those companies are famously well-paid and enjoy a plethora of perks -- from game rooms to free gourmet meals to generous time off. At Facebook, "you always feel spoiled," wrote one former employee.
Besides the cash compensation, soaring stock prices of the so-calledcould be another reason a higher-than-typical portion of their workers feel wealthy. Highly skilled hires at these companies often get company shares as part of their compensation, and as the enterprise grows, that equity can make a big difference in the wealth of some people. (The survey, it should be noted, was conducted in mid-July, before Facebook and Netflix shares turned downward.)
These happy few companies are the exceptions, however, given that more than 60 percent of tech workers felt underpaid. At Cisco, Intel, Expedia and VMWare, more than 70 percent of employees reported feeling underpaid.
That lines up with other research. PayScale found that 59 percent of workers in tech feel like they're paid below market -- the same as for workers overall. For many tech employees, extreme living costs in the cities where the industry is prevalent likely contribute to a feeling of poverty. In some parts of the tech-heavy Bay Area, a six-figure salary is now considered "low income."
It's also possible that there's just something about work that makes employees feel less-than-fully valued. Other PayScale research indicates that most employees have no idea whether they're paid fairly, with only a tenuous relationship between workers' pay relative to the market rate and how they perceived they were being paid.
And even lavish pay translated into just a small increase in workers' willingness to stay at their jobs, PayScale found. They might move for higher pay, but they're even more likely to switch jobs foror a better manager.