Are Companies Forcing Technologists to Take Pay Cuts for Remote Work?

Should companies treat full-time remote workers differently when it comes to compensation? In repeated surveys, Dice has asked technologists whether they’d be willing to take a salary cut in exchange for the ability to work from home permanently; every time, respondents have overwhelmingly said they wouldn’t accept any reduction in pay.

Dice’s latest survey, conducted via its social media accounts, asked technologists if their company was forcing them to take a pay cut in exchange for remote work. The answer was overwhelmingly “no.”

While many businesses are clearly reluctant to cut remote workers' pay, some companies keep suggesting they’ll do just that if technologists who work remotely decide to move someplace with a lower cost of living. For example, Facebook, VMware, and Stripe have all announced that any employees moving from Silicon Valley to a cheaper city would see a lighter paycheck as a result.

Perhaps those large companies feel they have sufficient leverage with their employees to enforce policies like that. Other tech giants, including Amazon, are pushing an “office-centric” policy for returning employees that could reduce remote work to a minimum. However, surveys have made it clear that workers now expect remote options; according to a poll by Morning Consult on behalf of Bloomberg News, some 39 percent of U.S. adults said they would potentially quit their jobs if their employer didn’t offer some flexibility around remote work. 

Sizable percentages of workers also like the idea of a “hybrid” workweek where they spend two or three days in the office. In Dice’s 2021 Technologist Sentiment Report, some 85 percent of technologists found the prospect of hybrid work anywhere from somewhat to extremely desirable, including 94 percent of younger technologists (i.e., those between 18 and 34 years old). Here’s Dice’s breakdown of how many days technologists actually want to spend at the office vs. at home: 

The bottom line here: Technologists want to work from home at least part of the time, and they don’t want to suffer a pay cut to do so. Based on this latest survey data, many employers are clearly taking note.