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US employees are willing to take a paycut for remote work as they save $12,000 on average in return

Remote work remains popular amongst employees and companies even now as it saves both parties a hefty amount.

US employees are willing to take a paycut for remote work as they save $12,000 on average in return
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Taryn Elliott

It is impossible to encapsulate modern work without remote experience. Three years ago, when the Coronavirus pandemic struck, remote work was one of the biggest changes in the corporate structure. Princeton published data that by May 2020, 60% of paid days had become remote when in the past it was just 5%. Many believed that this change was only for the time being but as years have gone by, the phenomenon has surprisingly managed to stick. One of the biggest reasons remote work has continued is that it has benefitted all the parties- employers and employees. USA Today reports how both parties are saving a large amount of money by continuing with the remote structure.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Ketut Subiyanto
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Ketut Subiyanto

Nicholas Bloom, a Stanford University economist revealed that a prospective employee is willing to give up 8% of their annual pay for remote work. Federal Pay shares that the average annual salary of employees in the USA is $65,614.70. So, by offering remote work companies are saving almost $5,249. Similarly, employees also cut a lot of expenses by working from home. Roughly $12,000, as per Flexjobs

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Jack Sparrow
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Jack Sparrow

The saving comes from reducing expenses in commuting, and rent primarily. The method also gives liberty to the employees to choose a city with a low cost of living in order to reside. Emilie Bergstrom, 28, a remote worker who lives in Brooklyn completely agreed with these facts. In her own words, “You’d have to pay me a lot to be in an office.” Prior to the pandemic, she was employed as a personal assistant in a New York office. She had to let go of the job after the employer chose to not come back to Gotham and took up a remote opportunity in Safe Families for Children, a nonprofit that works to support and stabilize families. Since switching jobs, Bergstrom's daily expense has reduced considerably. She no longer has to commute, eat out or invest in work clothes. She added, “Being able to work out at home, I don’t have a gym membership anymore.”

Many employees have also used the opportunity to relocate. They have shifted bases from huge metropolises to small towns, which considerably reduces the cost of living. However, this alternative might not be a safe option anymore. Forbes shared that as of now, 12.7% of employees work fully remote while 28.2% are in a hybrid model. Though the popularity of remote work has sustained, it might not be the future that corporations are looking forward to in the coming years.

This view is backed by Bloom, “Fully remote is stagnant. It’s not falling, but it’s not rising.” Hybrid work, by contrast, “is very reliable, and I think it’s the way of the future, so you can bank on that.” Hence, living near workplaces is a safe choice. Moreover, being a hybrid worker also has some major advantages over being a remote worker, especially in terms of competition. Remote workers face competition from all over the globe, while that is not the case for people in the hybrid mechanism. An employer through remote jobs, can easily hire people from third-world countries for a much lower asking price.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrew Neel
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrew Neel

Bloom therefore suggests people move farther away from the office rather than to other states. Spencer, a career expert who worked in Pennsylvania, moved to a rural part of the state to reduce the cost of living and take advantage of the mechanism. He ate lunch made at home and no longer needed to go on coffee runs. “I haven’t bought a new button-up shirt or a new tie or a new jacket in the two and half years that I’ve been working remotely,” he shares. At the same time, he is available to go to the office, if his employer changes his mind.



 

This trend of working from home does not look close to subsiding. According to Bloom, this is primarily because of two reasons: money and flexibility. Both parties are saving a lot with this system, while employees are experiencing a lot of freedom with their daily tasks. “There’s a saying,” Bloom said. “Leisure is a lot more valuable at home than it is at work.”

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