UK business leaders are considering decreasing the salaries of employees that work remotely full-time, new research by Velocity Smart Technology has found.

The research revealed that one in ten businesses interviewed in the report said they would decrease the salary of home workers.

This controversial approach has been questioned by many businesses since last year’s announcement that workers at some UK law firms will face a 20% pay cut to work from home full-time.

There is still a notable minority of business leaders committed to getting staff back into the office, as over a third (39%) said that if and when the UK recession happens, employees should still be made to work at the office.

On the flip side, almost three-quarters (72%) of businesses say staff can work flexible hours that suit their lifestyle if it doesn’t affect productivity. Over half (53%) said that staff should be allowed to work remotely.

To reinforce the commitment to office working, 35 percent said employers should also contribute towards the commuting costs if employees are made to work at the office.

Anthony Lamoureux, CEO of Velocity Smart Technology, the smart locker provider, said:

“The approach of passing on cost savings through salary cuts is not fair on employees – especially when employees are facing ever rising energy bills and the cost of living increases to work from home.

“From charging laptops to heating, working from home is not necessarily cheaper than commuting. The challenge for businesses is to consider how best to help employees be productive and happy, without second guessing their financial positions.”

The research also highlighted that people who have the opportunity to work remotely at least once a month are 24 percent more likely to feel happy and productive in their roles. It found that firms that prioritise investment in their people will be best placed to realise their long-term goals and provide a solid foundation for growth once the economy improves.

Lamoureux concluded: “Despite the enormous change in working practices over the past few years, there is still a gap between what employees want and the thinking of some business leaders. This research indicates the gap is set to increase: while the majority of companies recognise the importance of productive, motivated staff in driving the business through a recession, others are still adhering to outdated working models.”

 

 

 

 

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.