Over half of U.S. workers were working remotely in January of 2021. In May, 70% of companies said they were considering hybrid models once the pandemic ends. 97% of workers either want to work remotely full-time (58%) or work in a hybrid model (39%), according to FlexJobs.
It’s clear that remote work is popular. But it’s not just a fad employees love. It also has tangible benefits to businesses: employees report being more productive, happier with their jobs and even mentally healthier while working from home.
In a survey from Payscale, 81% of companies stated they do not have a “compensation strategy that encompasses remote employees.” While 69% of organizations said they don’t plan on lowering their compensation for remote employees, another 30% are considering slashing pay. That’s still a third of employers who might give a pay cut for a working style that for many has become the norm.
If your company tries to slash your pay if you ask to work remotely, here’s what to do.
If you’re currently employed and ask to work remotely, know that you have rights that stop employers from changing your salary without your consent.
“Employment law does not permit your employer to unilaterally change a fundamental term of your employment contract — such as pay — without your agreement,” Karen Jackson, managing director at the employment law firm Didlaw, told Yahoo News. “This is the case even if your contract says your employer reserves the right to make changes.”
If an employer tries to change your salary without your consent, even if it’s a pay raise, they can face legal action.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that they can’t work around this by letting you go — and hiring someone cheaper to work in your place, in-person. This brings us to...
One of the best ways to negotiate for a pay raise is to make your business case. If you want a promotion, the best career experts tell you to make a case for why you deserve one — including your tangible results, efforts and impact from your time at the company.
If an employer threatens lower pay for working remotely, make the same business case you would for a promotion. Show how productive you’ve been and the impact you’ve had on the business during your time working remotely. While working from home may benefit you, make sure to show concrete evidence on why you working remotely can also benefit your employer.
This method also works for those on the job search seeking remote positions. If an employer wants you to potentially work in the office, demonstrate your remote work skills and strengths in your resume and in the interview. Emphasize your virtual communication skillset and the successes you’ve had while working remotely at your last employer.
Remote work can have benefits not just on our work productivity, but also how we live our lives holistically — from our mental health to how we structure our days. If remote work matters to you, fight for it! If your employer insists you work in person, first have the conversation, then, consider looking for other opportunities if they won’t budge. You’re not alone — 1 in 2 employees are considering leaving their jobs if companies don’t allow them to work remotely in the future. Other companies are stepping up to the plate to offer better remote opportunities to people who want them. If remote work truly matters to you, go find it!
This article does not reflect the views of Fairygodboss.
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