Is the remote job era over with ‘flexible salaries’?
Among many changes resulting from the pandemic, the introduction of remote working is one of the better ones. People have been able to keep their earnings the same and have attained higher levels of productivity, from the comfort of their homes. From maintaining servers to switching network for clients, compliance management, security checkup, application deployment, managing teams etc., are some of the basic facilities customers receive from remote workers.
According to many employees, working from made them more productive than they ever were in a cubical. The past 18 months reshaped the world as we know, and working from home is something that is probably going to stick with us for quite a while. Many people realised it is possible to be more productive from a home-based office, so many shifted permanently. It created space to hire more employees for within limited company space.
But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies working from home and every company don’t welcomes the idea.
At the moment, people working from home is looking for a peaceful way of life. Many moved to the countryside, hung out with friends and family more, and kept their job at best possible level. Tech giant Google was pretty quick to set up a remote work environment for employees. Now, those people will be paid to work from home according to the pay scale based on lockdown. It can result in up to 25% lesser salary than usual.
Remote working helped employee’s manage stress and even gender disputes in the workplace, along with a different work experience. Facebook, Slack, and other tech companies also mentioned a location-based salary implementation is on the way pretty soon.
This could result in higher salary cuts with adjusted rates. Civil servants in London will also face a cut in salaries if they refuse to return to the office. Rail season tickets, other transportation, snacks, and facility charges are included in a salary-based package. If these percentages are not required, they have the authority to maintain it. But how many employees are going to be happy at this is yet to be seen.
Whitehall officials discussed taking away boosted salaries from civil servants to encourage them to come back to the office. Living in capitals can be as costly as £4000 more than living in a rural part of the country, and the cut is to adjust accordingly. On Monday, Downing Street stressed that the flexible hours of working are here to stay, and as there is no plat to dock ‘pay’ from civil servants, the decision is to pressure them to come back.
Among 480,000 government servants, 21% is based in London, and as many choose to work remotely, they will miss the £4000 extra pay compared to their counterparts for saving money. This would also result in saving taxpaying cash and a lower headcount of the distributed work environment.
Opponents said that workers with remote jobs face difficulties of their own. They face a rental challenge, Wi-Fi, electric bills, among other challenges which extra cost.
Concerns raised as the world is still recovering from the pandemic, workplaces are ready to take in the whole gathering of employees and still manage health goals. MPs commented on people working from home and their salary that “should be withdrawn if they are not commuting into or living in London.”
So, what’s going to happen? Employees with shattered dreams of ending their remote jobs may have a light of hope. It may not even be legal for employers to enforce the policy.
Employment Law Partner at Aaron & Partners, Claire Brook, said pay for home or hybrid work needs proper justification. Previously this flexible role kept everything afloat, and if we forcefully try to deploy cut at a time like this, consequences may backfire later. Brook said, “reducing employee’s pay if they want to continue working from home is a controversial suggestion.” Also, “unlawful deductions from wages, breach of contract.”