Most US Remote Workers Would Take Pay Cut to Keep WFH: Poll

  • 55 percent of fully remote US workers say they’re willing to take a pay cut to keep working from home, a WaPo and Ipsos poll finds
  • Still, the majority of workers polled say they would return to the office if they got a salary bump.
  • These attitudes toward remote work come as companies require employees to return to the office. 

Many remote workers want to stay at home — and they’re willing to make less money doing just that. 

The Washington Post and Ipsos polled 1,148 full-time and part-time workers between the ages of 18 to 64 to understand their attitudes toward work, including their feelings around remote work. 

Out of the 188 fully remote workers polled, 55 percent of them said they would take a lower-paying job to keep working from home, according to the poll. 

But some workers are willing to compromise flexibility if that means receiving better compensation, with 45 percent of fully remote workers saying they’re open to commute some days if they were to be offered a higher-paying job, the poll found.

Attitudes toward remote work differ among Gen Z workers. Only 29 percent of workers between the ages of 18 and 26 say working from home is not their top priority even though the majority of them are more likely to work jobs that can only be done in the office, per the poll.

The bottom line is that the majority of workers — 80 percent of all workers polled, including remote-capable workers — say they would go into the office a couple days a week in exchange for more money. 

The findings come as companies like Amazon and Salesforce issue mandates for their workers to return to the office as some executives believe in-person work will increase productivity, enhance creativity, and improve collaboration across teams

A few tech leaders, however, have taken a harsher stance on remote work. 

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, said that remote work is “morally wrong” and that remote workers need to “get off the goddamn moral high horse.” 

“The laptop classes are living in la-la land,” Musk told CNBC during an interview in regards to remote workers. 

But many workers are pushing back against these return-to-office mandates. Some Amazon employees in Seattle are planning to stage a walk out later this month over the company’s return-to-office directiveMore than 2,000 Disney workers have signed a petition in February to fight CEO Bob Iger’s return-to-office for four days a week mandate. Dozens of Starbucks corporate employees signed a similar petition urging the company to reverse its return to office policy. 

In fact, some workers say the return to the office is breaking their bank as they must now pay for professional clothes, daily lunches, and commuting fares. One worker even quit her six-figure job to avoid going back to the office

“I don’t need to be in an office to do my work,” Felicia, the worker, told Insider.

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