Many people do not want to return to their offices after millions have been able to work at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. GM found out the hard way recently. It asked workers to come back three days a week. The pushback was so violent that it abandoned the new policy. One issue workers and companies have had to deal with is whether people who return should be paid the same as people who stay away. A new survey found that most workers think work-from-home employees should be paid less. If this becomes the trend in worker payment, it could upend how companies manage a major expense.
GoodHire recently released a report titled “The State Of Remote Work In 2022: A Survey Of The American Workforce.” Over 3,500 adults over 25 were polled on August 25, 26, and 27.
Among the findings many people might not expect is that only 44% of workers prefer working from home which is down 24% from the figure from the same research year ago. The theory given is that people have entered a period of isolation when Zoom is not enough to create real human connection. Thirty seven percent of people preferred returning to an office.
Work from home has reordered what Americans can do with their time well beyond 9 to 5 activities. Millions of people have relocated to cities where they want to live rather than where they have to live because of office locations. As the deadliest effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have subsided, companies have decided they want those workers back at their desks. Those who have relocated have a problem. Companies, in many cases, have the leverage to renegotiate what workers are paid. Part of this renegotiation could allow companies to substantially lower worker expenses rather than cut people if the recession deepens.
Is a company’s ability to negotiate behind the belief by some that those who work at home should be paid less? In detail, the survey finds “73% of American workers stated that companies should pay in-office workers more than remote workers.” Alternatively, those who work in the office may resent that they have to take the time and money to commute. Why shouldn’t people who don’t have to make the trip make as much? Either way, working from home may turn out to be a bad idea, at least for those who want to be paid well for their work.
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