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How Remote Work Is Changing Salaries In The Tech Sector In The Era Of Coronavirus

Permanent remote work is not typically considered by most companies, even in the tech sector. There are great risks that come with this especially for firms that handle highly confidential data. Nonetheless, shifting to remote work has become apparent when the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Work from home is particularly viable for tech companies. Since most of the work is done in the digital space, the transition to full-time will be flexible. However, this comes with several considerations related to collaborations and salaries.

With the entire world trying to adjust to the aftermaths of the pandemic, tech companies are weighing in on how best to compensate their employees. There is now talk of shifting to permanent remote work after the pandemic.

Shift to Remote Work Before and During the Pandemic

Apparently, in the past decade, the shift to remote work rose by as much as 400 percent. According to a study by GetApp, the ease of remote work is made possible by fast Internet connections, evolved mobile devices, and cloud-based storage.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, remote work made for an even better working arrangement. Given the nature of the virus, companies just cannot risk employees’ health. Thus, remote work became the ‘new normal’.

Remote Work In the Tech Sector

Experts believe that even after the pandemic ends, the option to work from home is here to stay. The tricky part, however, has a lot to do with salaries and compensation.

Based on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, tech salaries can range from $50,000 to $122,000 as of 2019. Some companies can provide as much as $155,000 annually. Software engineers, for example, make an average of $108,700 in the US, while data scientists earn a median income of 108,200. With the aftermath of the pandemic, some employees are willing to settle for less as long as they can permanently work from home.

A study by Hired showed that about 53 percent of their 2,300 tech worker respondents are willing to move to cities with a lower cost of living. Some companies, however, do not believe that remote work should be permanent despite its cost-cutting appeal.

Tech Salaries During the Pandemic

In 2020, many well-known tech companies such as Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon are looking at permanent remote work for the majority of their staff. Facebook announced that it is looking at adjusting employee compensation based on their location. Localized compensation would follow the minimum wage of the city where an employee lives. Employees would now have to declare where they are so that their salaries will be adjusted. With all the different considerations, what could this mean for tech salaries?

Appeals of Permanent Remote Work

Despite lesser salaries, there are employees willing to take it. Permanent remote work means reducing daily expenses such as food or transportation. It also pushes some people to move to cities with lower costs of living.

There would be no change in productivity because the work of a tech firm is all in the digital space. Companies do not need to worry about workflow disruptions compared to other traditional jobs. Working from home also makes hiring talent from different parts of the world much easier. Instead of spending on visa requirements, tech companies can channel their funds elsewhere.

Worries About Permanent Remote Work

Remote work also comes with a set of cons that tech companies need to consider. Some CEOs of tech companies are not sold on the idea of permanent remote work. For them, being in the same space leads to better collaboration and outputs.

Concerns surrounding cybersecurity and data privacy are also of concern. This is especially true for developers working on top-secret projects. Working at home might not be as secure against hackers and opportunists.

Health Risk as a Main Driving Motive

For now, with no vaccine available, health risk is the main concern. Some employees are not yet allowed to go back to the office even if they want to. Hence, localized compensation still needs to go through a lot of deliberations. With the current situation of the world in the coronavirus pandemic, remote work is indeed the only way.

Tech Salaries in Changing Times

Compensations in the tech industry remain relatively higher. The work that the tech industry puts out enriches the digital world and its users. At the end of the day, tech salaries must measure up to the quality of the outputs that employees put out regardless of their location. To learn more about anything tech, visit Career Karma, where you will be able to expand your knowledge about a career in tech.

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