What is the future of Remote Work?

With light at the end of the tunnel on the Covid Pandemic what does that mean for Remote Work?

In our Remote Work article, we reviewed the latest trends and work styles for remote work pre-pandemic. During the Pandemic, remote work has become not only more common but a necessity. Many companies were forced to “go remote” in a very short window of time. Organizations need secure file share remote access solutions to help them quickly enable and support remote workers without opening security gaps or compromising compliance. IT departments remain under incredible pressure to maintain the business productivity for their newly expanded remote workforce.

As we enter the post-Covid-19 era, now is a good time to review the current and future state of remote work. For many companies, the pandemic only accelerated existing trends toward more flexible work options that included at least some remote work. Employees like the freedom to set their work and home life schedule as they see fit.

Is Remote Work here to stay? Will we be returning to the office full or part-time? Are salary rates affected for remote employees? Let us review the current findings.

Remote Work Statistics Show a Dramatic Increase Since Covid-19 that is here to Stay

According to a recent article in the New York Times, fortune 500 companies are already working with the assumption that remote work will continue indefinitely. At the minimum, we will see a modification with rotating days for on-site meetings with the balance of work performed remotely:

“The towering office buildings that line Manhattan’s avenues have long made New York a global powerhouse and the capital of numerous industries, from advertising to finance. Now even some of the largest and most enduring companies, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., which has more than 20,000 office employees in the city, have told their work forces that the five-day office workweek is a relic. The bank, which declined to comment for this article, is considering a rotational work model, meaning employees would rotate between working remotely and in the office. “Going back to the office with 100 percent of the people 100 percent of the time, I think there is zero chance of that,” Daniel Pinto, JPMorgan’s co-president and chief operating officer, said in an interview in February on CNBC. “As for everyone working from home all the time, there is also zero chance of that.’’

Remote Work is here to stay. This means that those who can work remotely will expect employers to provide the necessary tools and policies to help them be productive and connect with their fellow employees and customers.

Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

Employee Salary Expectations

While most businesses are already permitting remote work now, how will employee engagement play out in the long haul? How will companies maintain team collaboration when some employees return to the office while others continue to work at home? Will the contributions performed remotely represent the same value to employers as to those working in the office?

For employers, setting salaries is now more complex. While it’s simple to set salary rates when all employees are located in areas where the cost of living is the same, what happens if employees are hired and paid salaries commensurate with a high cost area, then relocate to a remote area with a lower cost of living? Can the employer reduce their salary accordingly? This can be difficult for employers since that can mean valued employees who are originally hired in a high-priced area are now overpaid by up 20-30% and are no longer available for impromptu onsite collaboration or customer support.

Recent surveys have found that 40% of employees are willing to lower their salaries to work remotely. Among them: 53% are willing to cut off 10-15% of their salary to switch to remote working. 32% are even willing to accept a cut of 20% or more.

CNBC recently published some insights into how much of a pay cut employees can expect. Here is a list of cities with the highest potential pay cuts and average estimated drop, on average, across job titles, according to the Glassdoor calculator:

  • San Jose: -24.6%
  • San Francisco: -21.7%
  • New York: -9.8%
  • Seattle: -9.7%
  • Los Angeles: -8.7%

“Employees with certain roles leaving these cities can expect bigger pay cuts depending on the job. For example, software engineers, product managers and software developers leaving San Francisco can expect to see their base pay drop by an average of 24.8%, 23.1% and 21.3%, respectively, according to the report.”

Employee Job Satisfaction

With Remote Work here to stay, Let’s take a look at the benefits to employees:

According to Slack research, 83% of knowledge workers want a remote or hybrid-working model, while only 17% want to return to full-time office work. In a survey conducted by sleepstandards.com, Nearly half of employees (45%) cherish the additional time for family and themselves thanks to work from home. With remote work options, employees are able to spend the extra time they were commuting with family and improve their work/life balance. Remote work can also cut down on the cost of long commutes.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Conclusion

Managing a remote work program can be complex for many businesses and employees who are not used to such flexible work arrangements.

The intention of our Remote Work guide is to help ease the fear of implementing a flexible remote working strategy as well as transitioning into a remote working environment.

Take full advantage of it and grasp the future now, or your competitors will!

Daniel, Founder of MyWorkDrive.com, has worked in various technology management roles serving enterprises, government and education in the San Francisco bay area since 1992. Daniel writes about information technology, security and strategy.