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The Effects of Remote Work on Tech Salaries During the Pandemic

When Covid-19 began to sweep across the globe, it was expected that there would be disruption caused by the pandemic…

An unforeseen form of that disruption, however, was the increase in remote work around the world. Fortunately, some companies were already on the remote work train because the overhead to rent or build office space just wasn’t in the budget.

On the other side, though, many companies either didn’t want to go remote as they feared a loss in overall motivation from their employees, or they had put massive amounts of money into building offices and are nowhere close to paying those structures off. Regardless of the exact reason, remote work is here to stay and companies are being forced to adapt their compensation models to account for a new variety of factors. Whether tech salaries begin to rise or fall, remote work is the catalyst for change.

More Emphasis on Versatile Skills

Back in the days before tech jobs became commonplace, traditional jobs were the go-to for anybody graduating with a college degree. People in these professions typically had one responsibility and did one task for a company. Put simply, they used a small range of skills to complete narrow objectives.

Even before remote work and the pandemic, tech-based jobs used a far more versatile range of skills. For perspective, to become a front end developer, one would need to have knowledge of multiple programming languages, problem-solving abilities, and a basic understanding of human psychology. Tech jobs have more of a broad than narrow nature to them, and remote work is only going to increase this.

As the emphasis is placed on required skills, a comparable increase in salary will be provided to the jobs that use the widest array of those skills.

A Restructured Payment Model

When it comes to creating a company payment model, there are numerous factors that used to go into deciding who earned what. As Payscale covers, those factors were usually demand, experience or education, performance, the reputation of a company, and the cost of living. However, in the era of remote work, these factors are going to be evaluated far differently than ever before.

What would a company’s reputation be when all work is remote? Perhaps an emphasis on 24/7 support for employees and constant communication. The cost of living is going to change as well as people begin to move around the country since they are not tethered to the state their company is in.

Payment models were already beginning to change as the idea of education was starting to transform. It used to be that you were respected and hired if you attended a four-year university. Today, however, there are trade schools such as Springboard that offer respectable courses in tech fields. As the payment model changes to account for remote work, it will need to be completely rewritten if modern tech employees are to be provided with a fair salary.

Fiercer Competition Leading to Higher Wages

Remote work means that anyone in the world can apply to a company and work for them from anywhere. No longer are potential employees just competing against relatively local people. The competition for a job opening could be fought on a global scale.

You may have grown up two blocks down from the company you’re applying to and gone to school locally, but if a graduate of a coding bootcamp in Atlanta has better qualifications, they may get considered over you. A higher level of competition means that a higher level of wages will be required to attract employees. Remote work has opened the door to more workers but companies will need to reel them in with attractive salaries.

Remote Work is the Future

Even after the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic end, it is unlikely that work will go back to the way it was before. People have gotten a taste of the remote work lifestyle and, while there are certainly people in the middle, many have enjoyed the benefits it can bring. Remote work is here to stay and companies will need to find a way to incorporate this factor into their payment models. An emphasis on skills and job tasks is likely to evolve, but the specific changes are difficult to predict. The best way to ensure a higher market salary for tech jobs is to keep doing your work at a high level of productivity and ensure your skills are symbiotic with remote work.

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