The rise of the work-at-home trend has sparked a lot of changes. Work schedules, home lives, and wardrobes have all come under scrutiny. But what about pay rates? How will remote work impact your salary?
We have entered a new era. The pandemic has taken the long-simmering trend of remote work and turned a flamethrower onto it.
During the depths of the pandemic, 71% of workers reported working from home. That compared to a 20% rate before COVID.
Now that the pandemic is finally passing, work-at-home has become a permanent option for many professions. But what will that mean for compensation? Here are some factors to keep in mind as you consider what your salary will look like in a remote world:
Look at Your Company’s Policies
Not every company treats remote work in the same way. Fundamentally, the question comes down to how your employer will treat the cost of living faced by various employees. If you live in a more expensive area, should you receive additional pay?
Companies are taking different approaches to this quandary. There are three basic strategies an employer can adopt:
- Pay based on employee location
- Pay based on company headquarters
- Pay based on a national average
Each of these comes with its own pros and cons. You need to judge the structure that best fits your goals and market position.
With this strategy, a company pays based on where the individual employee lives. This allows the firm to remain competitive in every market, choosing from the best talent everywhere.
However, under the system, two people doing similar jobs can have a wide variation in compensation. You might end up getting less than a colleague located in a higher-cost market.
Here, companies set salaries based on the cost of living in their home market. This puts everyone on an equal playing field, eliminating the potential jealousies encountered in the employee-location model. It also matches pay scales with what the company is historically used to paying, back when everyone physically came to the office. (You know, way back in 2019.)
As a job seeker, the key figure here is the difference between the cost of living where you live and the cost of living in the company’s home area. If you work in a low-cost market, you could get an extremely strong compensation package.
However, if you work in the higher-cost area, you may be priced out of these employers. Their best price might not offer enough for you to consider.
In this structure, geography doesn’t matter. Rather, the company chooses a national baseline to guide its compensation policy, ignoring any local variations in cost of living.
Like the headquarters-focused approach, this has the benefit of giving employees an equal pay footing. However, the downside remains the same. The competitiveness of a particular offer will depend on where your cost of living stands when compared to the national average.
Don’t Forget About Those Hidden Work Hours
The switch to work-from-home might not have an immediate impact on your nominal pay. This is especially true if you continue to work at the same employer. Your paycheck will look the same.
However, that doesn’t mean that your overall situation remains static. Work-from-home will alter your schedule in ways that might put your pay rate in a new light.
When you used to travel to the office, you essentially lost time each day to your travel routine. Your commute and all the chores that surrounded heading into work represented hours you devoted to your career. However, you didn’t necessarily receive compensation for this.
In a remote environment, you get this time back. You no longer have to commute. For some people, this could mean hours a day freed up for other activities.
Trouble Logging Off
However, there’s a potential catch. Remote schedules can have the opposite impact on your daily work input. The lines between work and home can get blurry, sometimes making it difficult for you to log off at the appropriate time.
You could get tricked into working more hours than you otherwise would. As a result, you need to consider your pay in light of the actual hours you invest in your job.
Ready to get the most out of the growing work-from-home trend? A top recruiter, like Pridestaff, can help. You’ll find the perfect employer to match your preferred working style.
Contact PrideStaff Bend today to get started.
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