During the coronavirus pandemic, working from home became a necessity for many as we were forced to hunker down to reduce the spread of the deadly virus.
Now, however, work from home has become a benefit so coveted that 48% of respondents to Ragan’s Salary Survey & Workplace Culture Report for 2022 said they would choose to work from home — even over a raise.
One respondent pointed out that choosing to stay home can be a financial decision, especially in an era of rampant inflation and high gas prices: “It depends on the raise amount,” they wrote. “I save money by working from home (no transportation costs, no food and beverage spending, clothing spending decreases, etc.). If the raise isn’t significant in comparison to work-from-home savings, then I’d prioritize working from home for both the convenience and the savings.”
Though in total more workers would choose the cash over the flexibility of working from home, a stark divide appears when we break down that number by gender. A whopping 68% of men would choose a raise — while 52% of women would choose to work from home. Similarly, 84% of women indicated they worked from home at least one day a week, while only 76% of men said the same.
The Ragan Salary Survey mostly polled those who work in communications, but there are valuable lessons here for all wellness professionals. In order to create a more equitable workplace where people of all genders have a chance to thrive, offering the flexibility to work from home is key, especially as a higher proportion as childcare and household chores still falls to women.
Luckily, many employers have already gotten this message, as 79% of survey respondents said their organization offered work from home, while 59% offered the related benefit of flexible hours. However, some of these offerings may decrease as workers are expected to return to the office as the pandemic recedes — 34% of workers said they expected to go into the office more frequently in the next six months, while another 19% were unsure.
“We are being forced back, creating lots of angst,” another respondent said.
For more insights, including average salaries and other information on benefit offerings, download the free report.