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Remote working: Pain in the HRse?

By Sam Gray

Since the beginning of the very first lockdown, most of us that "can work from home, should work from home" as our dear friend Boris has said.

Remote working isn't alien to us - it's something that was well underway for many businesses before the pandemic began. COVID-19 has just accelerated the trend. 

However, due to the "unforeseen circumstances" (another Boris classic) people are now seriously taking their work-life balance into consideration when searching for new jobs and why shouldn't they? If this has taught us anything, it's that working from home should not be a taboo subject anymore and a 100% office-based culture is now pretty old hat. 

Companies are getting on board with this (if they were not already before) and are now offering either home-based contracts or a very good mix of home & office culture - when this would never have been possible before. However this does pose some HR headaches as the article written by Nicolas Colin at Sifted proposes.

How much should companies be paying remote workers? Should salaries be based on where people live and the cost of living there? Can employees be based in a different country and still do the job in question? 

It is not straightforward and is likely to be a HR nightmare for a while to come yet! 

My conclusion is that a person's salary should be based on how valuable that person is to the business and the skillset they can bring in - not based upon where they live. Whilst working remotely is a bonus for many people - should they really be penalised with a potentially lower salary? Whether you are in your parents back garden using a wifi hotspot from your phone or living in a £multi-million house in an affluent area of the world, the point stands - if the person is skilled enough to do the job, they are the right fit for the business and they are going to propel you onto that next stage of growth, they should be commensurated accordingly.

And something else to think over: if employers have employees based in a different country and located in more markets - could this contribute to market expansion in the long run? 

I think this article is a fantastic read and one well worth taking the time to look through and consider for candidates and clients alike in my network. 

Remote working has grown hugely over the last few years - none more so than the last year itself - and the last thing we need now is pay gaps based on the location of where you live rather than what you offer to a potential employer.

I would love to know your thoughts - how should companies pay remote workers moving forward? Do you agree with my thoughts? Are you a pro remote worker or are you desperate to get back into the office - or maybe want a bit of both?

The rise of remote working was well underway pre-pandemic, but the Covid-19 rampage has contributed a great deal to accelerating the trend.

Read the original article here
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