HRE’s number of the day: remote job salary demands

A majority of workers say they would leave their jobs if compensated less for working remotely. Here’s what that means to HR leaders.
By: | June 28, 2021

83: Percentage of employees who say they would leave their job if compensated less for working remotely

Employees want to maintain the option to work remotely post-pandemic and will not tolerate being compensated less for remote work, according to new survey data from Salary.com. The compensation management company surveyed 743 employers and 549 employees for results.

What it means to HR leaders

The data comes as many employees demand continued remote work options more than a year after having moved remote due to COVID-19. Scores of research finds that, after working remotely during the pandemic, the vast majority of employees don’t want to go back to the office, citing COVID-19 exposure concerns, caregiving concerns and having less work flexibility and less work/life balance.

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Related: Requiring employees to return to the office? Get ready for them to quit

The Salary.com survey finds not only do workers say they don’t want to give up remote options—they don’t want to give up additional money for that option. Those results paint a different picture than another recent report that found that employees at some of the biggest and most well-known companies in the United States say they would choose working from home over a hefty pay raise.

Related: A $30K raise or remote work forever? Employees want remote

Experts say employers are realizing they need to keep workers happy to retain them—and that includes remote work options and competitive salaries and benefits.

“Remote work translates into a more fluid, and potentially volatile, market for how employees move from company to company,” says David Cross, senior compensation consultant for Salary.com. “This double-edged sword not only means that there’s a broader selection of talent from which to hire, but that there is also an increased retention risk to the current workforce. Employers recognize that rewards need to not only reflect and attract these skills into the business, but to retain those skills of their existing employees.”

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Either way, employees don’t have much to worry about regarding their remote work salaries: An overwhelming majority (95%) of employers surveyed by Salary.com said they would not lower compensation for employees who continue, or transition to, working remotely.

Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver. She can be reached at kmayer@lrp.com.

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