Value of hybrid work may overtake pay increase

Recent research has shown that employees would choose a hybrid work arrangement over any pay increase offered by their employer.
By: | October 17, 2022

Nick Bloom, Stanford economist and co-researcher behind the monthly reports created by research organisation WFH Research, said employees would opt for a hybrid work arrangement, or to keep it if they currently have it, even if their employer offered almost 10% more pay to return to work full-time.

Even if this offer were made, it might not be particularly attractive, considering wages have not kept pace with the increasing cost of living. In the US, for example, inflation has hovered above 8% for most of the year, peaking at 9.1% in June. Thus, hybrid schedules remain a popular option because, when considering inflation in transit and food, working from home is arguably a more cost-effective alternative.

Based on Bloom’s research, workers in the tech sector value working from home two to three days a week at slightly over 11% of their current pay. The percentage is 10% for finance workers, 9% for business services, 8% for retail trade, and 7.5% for education workers. And in industries where remote work is mostly untenable, such as healthcare, government and manufacturing, workers value remote work at below 7% of their salary.

READ: Hybrid work pattern takes hold in Australia

Hybrid work is the uncontested way of the future, and employees are making that clear, said Bloom who cites his research from July, which found that offering two to three days of remote work per week among engineers, finance, and marketing professionals reduced quit rates by over one-third.

The data also coincides with Bloom’s earlier research, which found that many companies use remote work as a substitute for raising salaries. Almost two in five (38%) companies Bloom and his colleagues surveyed have specifically increased remote work offerings to maintain employee satisfaction and moderate wage growth, reported Fortune.