Home working rates are anticipated to remain high in the long run and companies recognise that pay and reward models will need to adapt, according to a survey.
Despite the massive shift to remote working since Covid, the way work is structured and pay is managed is still based on roles being fulfilled on-site within geographically organised teams, according to a new study which anticipates changes to pay and rewards in the near future.
The survey of 168 employers by Willis Towers Watson says 73% of the UK workforce moved to remote working in 2020 and anticipates that will remain at 64% in the near future with safety the biggest motivator, but engagement, retention and flexibility also important factors. Even longer term, companies anticipate more of a balance between employees working on-site (43%) and working from home (37%) in three years’ time.
Despite this, less than half of companies said that their current job infrastructure (45%) and job classification (43%) processes support developing a flexible and agile workforce. Furthermore, over a quarter of employers still don’t have policies in place to manage flexible working arrangements. The majority (73%) said they will continue to pay fully remote workers the same as in-office employees next year regardless of their location. However, over half (57%) do think that new work requirements will require a hybrid approach to pay and rewards going forwards.
“Companies are recognising that some of the working practices forced by the pandemic are here to stay, but that the way work is structured and pay is managed is still based on roles being fulfilled on-site within geographically organised teams,” said Hazel Rees, senior director, Willis Towers Watson.
“The good news is that the trend in many organisations was moving in the direction of a more flexible approach anyway and the pandemic has just turbo-charged the speed of change. But employers now need to take a step back and examine the future state of their organisation overall and decide how they can make the most of their new agile workforce.”
The survey also found that organisations expect that on average only 3% of roles would be off-shored over the next three years, with nearly half of companies (47%) anticipating none at all.
With spend on pay unlikely to change significantly, companies are anticipating that any savings they make will come from real estate, where over a third (37%) are expecting to reduce their spend next year and 60% over the next three years. Over half (53%) also expect savings in 2021 from expenses connected to commuting to work, such as transportation and travel. Some of these savings are being channelled into equipping employees to work from home. The most common remote working expenses for companies were in providing supplemental computer equipment, with an average value of £214 per employee, followed by furniture at £175.
“The changes in the workplace as a result of the pandemic are here to say. Employers that are able to create and manage a flexible workplace will not only meet the needs of their employees but also be best positioned to succeed in the new world of work,” said Rees.