The coronavirus is not done wrestling with corporate culture to force lasting changes on employees and their employers. Unless specific pay scales are established, salaries are likely to be in a state of flux as companies work to implement remote work as a new policy. This uncertain state is causing speculation of the future of salaries and their correlation with remote work.
As companies started to employ remote work, they noticed employees like the changes, and they implemented remote work as a permanent option. Companies will do as companies do and look at remote work as a way to cut costs. After rent and buffet-style meals, companies will look to save on human costs by reducing the salaries of employees who live in cheaper areas. Location-based pay might be the most equitable way to alter pay, but is remote work all it claims to be? And who is benefiting more, employees or companies?
Who Saves During Remote Work?
Corporations and publicly traded companies are always looking out for the interests of stockholders by cutting costs to increase profit margins. Changing form Macs to PCs might a reasonable cost-saving measure, but slashing employment and paying employees less might create a larger impact on the bottom line. Companies are hoping to pay remote mobile app developers in cities with lower costs of living less to help their bottom line, but how do costs factor into the decision to allow remote work?
Healthcare and wages are often the highest costs of running a business, followed closely by leases and real estate costs. Lowering a corporate footprint will greatly reduce the costs a company faces. Even if remote work isn’t possible 100 percent of the time, there are creative solutions to pay less for office space. It makes sense that companies save money implementing remote work, but what about employees?
Having to buy your own Kind bars and purchasing your own water bottles might increase some of the costs associated with full-time employment, but working from home also decreases gas consumption and the wear and tear on your car, and lowers stress by eliminating the commute. Gas savings and reducing stress might make taking a lower salary for remote work a healthy and sustainable choice.
Communication Is Key
Any changes in pay should come with clear communication, advance notice, and a chance for feedback from employees. Most workers expect to be paid the same for remote work as they were when they went to the office, but they understand locality-based pay. GitLab has clear pay bands and locations clusters for employees, remote or not, to know exactly what range of salary to expect if they move. Upfront communication is key to keeping employees happy. Compensation is a big reason employees like quality assurance engineers stay in their current roles, but the pay rate isn't the be-all and end-all of employee satisfaction.
Company culture, team balance, and aligned values are factors that employees desire to look for work elsewhere or remain at their current company. Remote work is likely to change the way teams and, in turn, employees feel about the company. Clearly communicate any changes to the company's remote work policy or working habits to prevent employees from feeling like the rug is being pulled out from under them.
Is Remote Work All It’s Cracked Up to Be?
Remote work isn't the same across all industries and varies from company to company. Those who took remote work to drastic measures might experience a time zone shift that could change their working hours to line up with their companies. Everyone undoubtedly enjoys the lack of commute, but are employees working the same amount of hours? Research shows that remote workers are working equally long, or longer, hours than when they were based in an office.
Remote learning also enhances an employee's skills and creates a unique hiring experience. Online degrees have become just as valuable to tech companies as traditional college degrees. Remote work offers its perks and challenges, but tech companies lead the charge for remote work much like they changed the concept of office space when they built their state of the art campuses.
Technology is turning current workplace practices into antiquated ideas. Instead of an office, we are working at home. Instead of a four-year college degree, tech workers are attending intense six-month coding bootcamps online. Salaries are another thing technology will change.