US Remote Workers Earn $8,500 More Than Office Staff

New report sheds light on how salaries for office, remote and hybrid jobs compare across 30 major US cities.

Remote workers have been found to earn more money than those who work in-office or in a hybrid capacity, according to a new study.

The research by call center software provider Ringover found that on average remote workers earned $8553 more annually compared to roles that require full-time office attendance, based on its analysis of 15,800 job listings across 30 major US cities.

Jobs that offer hybrid setups aren’t nearly as far behind, with the data showing average salaries that were just $140 below the benchmark established by the fully remote roles.

Remote vs Office Working: Which Pays More?

It seems clear from the study that companies that offer remote working pay more, whether they offer the perk on a full-time or hybrid basis. However, it’s worth noting that there are a number of variables at play here and no two job markets are the same.

Geography was revealed to be a key factor in Ringover’s report, with remote staff in Baltimore, MD earning nearly 40% more than their cubicle-based counterparts. Indianapolis, IN and Oklahoma City, OK were the cities. with the next largest pay gaps, at 29.76% and 28.90%, respectively.

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Different job roles were also found to be a factor in how employers compensated remote vs office roles. Perhaps ironically, office managers were found to enjoy the biggest salary boost when working fully remotely, getting on average 31.71% more than if they attended a physical workplace, with PR managers a close second (30.16%). At the other end of the spectrum, junior web developers were found to make more in the office, enjoying salaries that were 12.52% higher than their remote equivalents.

Why Do Remote and Hybrid Working Jobs Pay More?

If you’ve hit the gas station lately, you’ll be well aware of the injustice of remote working jobs paying more than those that require employees to commute. Fairness aside, one reason why remote and hybrid roles can pay more is because it’s cheaper for companies to have their employees provide their own workspace.

Specifically, working from home full-time means little to no office overheads for businesses, while clever management of hybrid working schedules allow them to dramatically reduce the amount they have to pay for office space and everything that comes with it.

At home? Settle the Zoom vs Microsoft Teams debate and you might find that’s all there is to it. Among other things, you certainly don’t have to worry about things like providing free coffee, paying for electricity, or the cleaning and building maintenance costs.

Salary Transparency is the Real Issue

An important caveat to all of findings is the fact that, despite Ringover’s data analysts reviewing 15,800 job listings, they only found salaries attached to 30 ‘remote-capable’ jobs. This is indicative of a larger trend, which saw just 43.15% of roles advertised online offering a salary range or exact figure.

Tech hotbed Seattle, WA was the best city for salary transparency, with 76.73% of listings coming with salary information attached, followed by San Diego, CA (73.71%). Job hunters in Charlotte, NC and Houston, TX shouldn’t hold out much hope, though, with these cities reporting salary details on just 11.76% and 25.64% of job ads.

This hints at the much bigger issue of salary transparency, the lack of which is a problem experienced by job hunters all over the world . We understand businesses want to get their workplace strategy right in the post-Covid era and the way it’s now de rigueur to include job flexibility in job posts is admirable. Ask most prospective employees out there and they’d probably agree it’s time salaries followed suit.

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Written by:
James Laird is a technology journalist with 10+ years experience working on some of the world's biggest websites. These include TechRadar, Trusted Reviews, Lifehacker, Gizmodo and The Sun, as well as industry-specific titles such as ITProPortal. His particular areas of interest and expertise are cyber security, VPNs and general hardware.
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