Payscale survey shows 81% of employers do not have compensation strategy for remote workers post-pandemic

  • Payscale’s Remote Work Report shows that 43% of workers overall expect remote work options to increase after the pandemic.
  • Only 50% of organizations say they will have a flexible or hybrid office after the pandemic.

SEATTLE, Sept. 14, 2021 — Today, Payscale Inc., the leading provider of compensation data and software, released its Remote Work Report highlighting how remote work is impacting employee expectations, job seeking behavior, future work environments, and pay strategies. This research comes during a turbulent labor market as the ‘mass resignation’ endures and employers struggle to attract and retain top talent.

Payscale’s latest research shows that remote work, or some amount of workplace flexibility, is going to be expected by the workforce when the pandemic ends—at least among office workers. While 43% of workers overall expect remote work options to increase after the pandemic, 81% of employers do not have a compensation strategy that encompasses remote workers, though they are concerned about the impact. In occupations like technology and marketing, the expectation for remote work options rises to over 70%. Still, only half (50%) of organizations say they will have a flexible or hybrid office after the pandemic and less than half of organizations (47%) have taken the time to survey their employees on their preferences.

“The last 18 months has shown us how productive and connected we can all be virtually, so it comes as no surprise that workers will continue to expect remote work or increased flexibility when the pandemic ends,” said Scott Torrey, CEO of Payscale. “Forcing employees back to the office full time will no doubt result in turnover, yet many organizations don’t seem to be prepared for that reality. Ultimately, it’s about people doing their best work, regardless of location, and the employers who are actively listening and making accommodations to improve the employment experience are most likely to come out on top.”

One critical area the report highlights is that when it comes to compensation for remote workers, the vast majority of organizations are still figuring things out. Nearly one-third (30%) of employers are still undecided about their pay strategy post-COVID. Data reflects multiple approaches to remote-based pay, with employees who work remotely currently not earning less compensation overall than non-remote employees, and 69% of organizations not planning to lower pay for employees who work remotely. However, this could change as location-based compensation strategies rise in popularity, especially for large, global organizations as well as technology companies, such as Google and Facebook.

“There are many appropriate ways to structure compensation strategies to accommodate remote work and increased workplace flexibility, but the right solution is going to be unique to differentiate the organization in the bid for talent. What really matters though is that compensation programs are competitive, consistent, and fair,” said Shelly Holt, CHRO at Payscale.

Vistaprint, the marketing and design partner to millions of small businesses around the world, is one company that has already determined and deployed new remote work and pay policies to meet employee expectations.

“After surveying team members on their preferences, we opted to transition to a remote-first workforce and were able to model costs and conduct analysis on pay strategies to develop a globally-centered approach to compensation with geographic differentials that would be fair and equitable for team members,” said  Stacey Sutela, SPHR, Director, Global Compensation & HR operations, Vistaprint.  “Payscale has been a phenomenal partner during this process and have also provided services to help us deliver asynchronous manager training to communicate our compensation strategy and rationale to team members as part of a pay transparency initiative.”

Payscale data, software and services support all types of compensation strategies, including employee-location based pay strategies through geo differentials. Payscale also has close to 100M visitors to the website each year who “Payscale It”, creating the largest crowdsourced database of its kind with more than 65M salary profiles and gives customers the option to integrate more than 10,000 surveys from 300 publishers. Payscale provides multiple options to contrast, manage, and analyze pay data with the confidence to share and advocate for compensation solutions with other business leaders across their organization.

The data and methodology for the Remote Work Report, which analyzes 538,438 online salary profiles collected from July 2019 to July 2021, as well as a field survey to employers with 682 respondents, can be accessed in its entirety on

About Payscale
As the industry leader in compensation data and technology, Payscale helps organizations #getpayright. Payscale is the only technology solution for managing compensation that provides multiple streams of transparently curated, and validated market salary data. Combined with modeling engines that learn continuously and generate recommendations and insight, Payscale empowers HR to price jobs and adjust compensation to reflect near real-time changes in the market — all on one trusted data platform. With Payscale’s Adaptive Compensation Advantage, teams operate with efficiency, focused on outcomes rather than manual data management. To learn how companies like The Washington Post, Perry Ellis International, United Healthcare and The New York Times rely on Payscale to attract and retain top talent, motivate and engage employees, and plan their future workforce, visit