Quarter of office workers would take pay cut for permanent homeworking – survey

In London, that figure grew to 40%.

Vicky Shaw
Wednesday 01 September 2021 12:15
The survey found more than a quarter (27%) of office workers would accept a pay cut to switch to permanent homeworking (PA)
The survey found more than a quarter (27%) of office workers would accept a pay cut to switch to permanent homeworking (PA)

More than a quarter (27%) of office workers would accept a pay cut to switch to permanent homeworking, a survey suggests.

Four in 10 (40%) workers in London would be willing to sacrifice some pay if it meant they could ditch their regular commute for good, compared with only around one in seven (13%) in the South West of England, financial services company Hitachi Capital UK found.

Millennials aged 25 to 34 were the most likely to consider taking a pay cut, with 35% being willing if it meant the reduction was less than their usual travel spend and there was increased flexibility from their employer.

The Generation Z age group aged 24 and under, meanwhile, were most likely to want a permanent full-time working from home solution, with more than a third (39%) indicating they would like this.

Men were particularly likely to say that spending time with family would be a key incentive for them to work remotely, the research found.

On average, people were prepared to take an 8% pay cut in exchange for permanent, full-time homeworking, according to the survey of 1,000 office workers across the UK.

The clamour for flexible working is so pronounced that many employees are even prepared to sacrifice their salary to achieve a better work-life balance

Theresa Lindsay, Hitachi Capital UK

Two per cent were even prepared to see their pay slashed by a fifth (20%) if it meant they could work from home permanently.

Those earning between £30,000 and £40,000 were particularly willing to take a pay hit in return for homeworking, with around a third (34%) agreeing.

This compared with just a fifth (20%) of workers earning more than £40,000.

Among those earning less than £18,000, 27% would consider a pay cut, as would 31% of people earning between £18,000 and £29,999.

Despite the desire for more flexibility, many people surveyed also saw upsides to returning to the office.

Being able to socialise with colleagues was found to be a major factor for returning to the office in Scotland (32%), London (28%) and the South East of England (26%).

Theresa Lindsay, group marketing director at Hitachi Capital UK, said: “The pandemic has led to a seismic shift in the way people want to work in order to effectively manage their work and home life commitments.

“It’s clear that the majority of employees have adapted very well to remote working whilst actually enhancing productivity.

“Moving forward, our research clearly shows that the clamour for flexible working is so pronounced that many employees are even prepared to sacrifice their salary to achieve a better work-life balance in the long term.”

The survey also found that completely flexible working tended to be the preferred option for office workers, followed by three days at home, two days at work.

Just 15% of workers wanted to return to the office full-time.

People working in the media and leisure industries were particularly likely to say they would consider a pay cut to work from home permanently, while those in the finance and legal sectors were the least keen to have their salaries slashed, the survey found.

Here are the percentages of people surveyed who said they would be willing to take a pay cut to work from home permanently, according to Hitachi Capital UK:

– London, 40%

– West Midlands, 36%

– East Midlands, 34%

– East, 28%

– Wales, 27%

– North East, 26%

– North West, 25%

– South East, 23%

– Northern Ireland, 21%

– Scotland, 21%

– Yorkshire and the Humber, 19%

– South West, 13%.

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