In a rush to return to normal, your remote and in-office workers may be asking for more than before. Technology has made it easier for people to work anywhere. This makes it difficult for companies to justify paying remote employees less than those in an office setting, especially when competitors offer higher-paying jobs. Remote workers want the same salary as their in-office colleagues. In-office workers are asking for more than their remote counterparts as remote workers enjoy the added convenience of working from home. Work from home expenses are a fraction of what in-office employees have to pay. There is no need to buy train or bus tickets to get from the suburbs into the city. These employees also don’t have to spend as much on buying expensive clothes, dry cleaning, or dining out for breakfast, lunch, and sometimes even dinner. As companies are herding people back into the office, workers expect higher pay to compensate for additional costs. Soaring inflation together with rising food, gasoline, and public transport ticket costs add stress to the already overburdened office worker, who reluctantly accepts the reality of going back to work at the office. While some companies are starting to adjust their salary rates accordingly, others are resisting by claiming lower remote productivity. However, the great resignation signaled to employers that workers are tired of being taken for granted. They want to work somewhere that brings meaning and fulfillment to their lives. So if you want to retain your employees and get them back into the office, you’ll need to decide if you will offer additional benefits.
People who work remotely tend to be more productive than their in-office counterparts.Your remote employees already have to eat the cost of building and maintaining a home office, buying expensive ergonomic chairs and desks for the 10 hours of work each day, and on weekends. On top of those costs, there are additional phone, internet, and software subscriptions, energy bills, and other incidental costs. So naturally, they will require further compensation for these costs. People have collective power in this competitive job market as around 11 million jobs become available each month. Your employees can pick and choose a better opportunity. Then you’ll have to spend more money and hope your productivity, customer service, and team morale don’t suffer. Aside from those considerations, remote work means your employees spend more time with friends and families. Happier employees are more productive. Create a schedule that helps them achieve the optimal balance between work and personal life. Remote work removes the daily commute, so these saved hours equal quality time with their loved ones. Spend less on office space and spend more on the lifeblood of your company, your workforce.
If you want employees back in the office, you’ll need to pay them more.Do you really want your employees back in the office? The post-COVID labor market is perfect for those who want to find other jobs, especially if their remote work demands aren’t met, or they are being asked to come back to the office. One study found that 72% of surveyees would take long-term flexibility over a 10% pay raise. If you want them back, you’ll need to pay them more.
Pre-COVID, determining compensation was already a struggle. However, fully remote, distributed, and hybrid teams are challenging traditional standards of compensation considerations. For example, your compensation package could be based on skills, expertise, education, and demand. More recently, location has become another factor in deciding how much to compensate employees. Other avenues worth exploring are technical, social, and personal skills. Those skills, expertise, work history, and how well they communicate with a distributed team may be much more valuable than location when determining how much to pay an employee. So, why not mix it up and decide if location will affect compensation or if you're willing to pay your workers more regardless of their zip code?
Instead of asking remote workers to take a pay cut, offer your in-office workers a raise.Ultimately, whether or not to pay in-office and remote workers the same amount depends on the company's specific situation and needs. For example, if your company feels that it would benefit from having all its workers in the same location, you should pay them equally and more than before COVID. Regardless of whether you decide to keep your team distributed or get your employees back into the office, you will have to pay if you want to keep your team motivated and committed long-term. With inflation rates the highest since 1981, employees deserve the right to demand more, whether remote or in the office.