It appears like the proper arbitrage alternative: Depart your crowded metropolis for an even bigger place within the ‘burbs, however hold your huge metropolis wage.
However now, a new study by international advisory agency Willis Towers Watson exhibits that many employers aren’t essentially planning to allow you to hold your full paycheck when you transfer. The survey of 344 employers in North America confirmed that almost 20% of employers are “setting pay ranges by first figuring out the market worth of an worker’s abilities after which making use of a geographic differential based mostly on the place the worker is situated.” Nonetheless six in 10 employers say they’ll proceed to pay distant staff the identical as in-office staff “irrespective of the place they work.”
Whereas Twitter has been on the forefront of decentralizing it’s workforce (and paying them partly based mostly on the place they stay), different tech corporations have just lately taken the same path. Facebook made headlines this spring when it introduced that beginning in January 2021, “worker compensation will likely be adjusted based mostly on the price of residing within the areas the place employees select to stay. Facebook will make certain staff are sincere about their location by checking the place they log in to inside methods from,” based on the New York Occasions. Bloomberg reported in September that staff at VMWare who selected to maneuver might additionally anticipate pay cuts. “Staff who labored at VMware’s Palo Alto, California, headquarters and go to Denver, for instance, should settle for an 18% wage discount, individuals accustomed to the matter mentioned. Leaving Silicon Valley for Los Angeles or San Diego means relinquishing 8% of their annual pay, mentioned the individuals, who requested to not be recognized discussing inside insurance policies.”
However the motion in the direction of “pay localization” will be fraught as properly. For example, what if an organization opened up jobs to employees unfold out across the nation, and ladies or candidates of coloration started to be employed at a better price? Would the corporate nonetheless pay its San Francisco-based staff extra, even when they had been disproportionately male or white?
Some additionally query whether or not the narrative about individuals “fleeing cities for good” will maintain up as soon as the pandemic is below management or there’s a vaccine. Jonathan Miller, who writes a preferred e-newsletter about New York actual property told Fortune‘s John Jeff Roberts this summer that he thinks the flight from huge cities is actual—nevertheless it gained’t essentially stick. “He likens what’s taking place with COVID-19 to occasions just like the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008 and the 9/11 assaults. These occasions likewise triggered a flight from New York, however solely a brief one; lots of those that left returned in a yr or two. Miller expects the same phenomenon to happen with the pandemic.”
That could be one purpose many employers are nonetheless grappling with whether or not—and the way a lot—distant work to permit. The Willis Towers Watson survey discovered that 37% of corporations “don’t but have a proper coverage or set of ideas to handle the preparations, though 60% of these at present with out formal insurance policies are planning or contemplating adopting a proper coverage by subsequent yr. Practically two-thirds (64%) of these with insurance policies are planning or contemplating revising them this yr or subsequent to adapt to the altering nature of the place work will get performed.”
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