Why Companies Mandating In-Office Work Should Compensate Employees More

Since the world began recovering from the pandemic, many companies decided to allow employees to continue working from home. At 14 Oranges, we were so accustomed to remote work, having worked that way since 2011, that we didn’t really skip a beat as the pandemic hit and when things shifted drastically again as the world opened up.

Setting aside roles which require an employee to be physically present to complete, I think in most cases, finding a way to make remote work possible for your teams is achievable. I simply don’t think it’s necessary for most knowledge workers to be required to work from an office to be productive and effective.

It has been surprising to see the number of companies in recent news mandating a return to the office, citing concerns over productivity and collaboration. Companies like Apple, Amazon, Disney, Goldman Sachs, and even Google began mandating their employees return to working in their offices for at least some days per week.

Obviously, many of these companies faced a lot of backlash over their return-to-office mandates. People became accustomed to working from home over several years, they proved they could accomplish their jobs even if they weren’t sitting at their desks in an office during set hours. They got used to being able to do their work during the times when they were most productive, instead of during times set by their companies as ‘working hours’.

Pay Up or Let Your People Work Remotely

Personally, I have always struggled to be productive in the morning, especially in an office. There are emails from the previous day and all the distractions of people arriving and exchanging pleasantries. I just couldn’t ever get into ‘flow’ in the earlier part of the day. As a developer my productivity sweet spot was always from around 3 pm until 7 pm. That was always when I started coding and when I did my best work. The personal challenges I experienced when I was expected to perform at a time that just wasn’t when my brain wanted to cooperate is why I’ve always thought remote work was optimal for most companies that employ knowledge workers. It’s why 14 Oranges embraces working from home the way we do–I think our employees do their best work when they have the autonomy to choose when they do it, so long as they’re meeting deadlines and being productive.

What I would like to know is, if these companies are so convinced that employees are more productive working from the office, are they willing to pay employees more to work in the office?

If you’re expecting output to increase, there shouldn’t be a huge issue with offering more money to your people if you require them to work from the office.

I think many of the companies who are struggling to get support from their employees for their return-to-office plans would benefit from incentivizing their returns by offering additional compensation.

And apparently, I’m not alone in my thinking on this. According to recent research, 73% of workers believe companies should pay in-office workers more than remote workers.

If they truly can’t find a way to make remote work possible, companies are really going to need to sweeten the pot for workers expected to commute to an office. Otherwise, they’re going to lose great people.

If you’d like to work for a company that will always prioritize remote work, while still providing opportunities for in-person meetings when needed, keep an eye on the 14 Oranges careers page. We offer a lifestyle and flexibility not common at many companies. We would love to hear from you.

Sylvain Marcotte is CEO and President of 14 Oranges.

Pay Up or Let Your People Work Remotely