Study Reveals How Remote Workers Lose $22,000 Of Their Paychecks Each Year By Staying Home

There are definite trade-offs to going back to the office.

woman sitting on couch with computer Ave Calvar / Unsplash 

Working from home has provided major benefits for employees’ work-life balance. Remote workers save time and money by not having to commute. They can eat lunch in their kitchen instead of going out and throw a laundry load in if needed. There’s an overall sense of simplicity and peace of mind that comes with remote work.

Yet, many companies have issued return-to-office mandates, forcing workers to go back to an antiquated way of working, one they thought had gone by the wayside. 


While working from home offers a lot of flexibility, the decision to stay remote can cost people a significant chunk of their income.

A study revealed that remote workers lose $22,000 of their paychecks each year.

Data collected by ZipRecruiter showed how salaries have shifted since 2023, according to whether a worker is remote or in-office.

Study Reveals How Remote Workers Lose $22,000 Of Their Paycheck Each Year By Staying Home Photo: / Unsplash 


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In 2023, the average in-office salary advertised in job postings was $59,085. A year later, American companies are offering higher paychecks to people willing to come to the office, advertising an average of $82,037 for in-person positions, a 33% increase in income.

Data from 2024 shows that, on average, fully remote workers are paid $75,327.

Some employees prefer working on a hybrid model, going into the office a few days a week, yet data shows that their income also takes a hit for that decision: A hybrid worker's average wage is $59,992, which is about $22,000 lower than someone who has an in-person role.




Workers who’ve moved from fully remote work to being in-office full-time got a 29.2% pay bump.

Employers are offering more money to in-office workers as a way to compensate for the loss of flexibility that comes from giving up remote work.

Study Reveals How Remote Workers Lose $22,000 Of Their Paycheck Each Year By Staying Home Photo: Good Faces / Unsplash 


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The chief economist at ZipRecruiter, Julia Pollak, offered her take on the reasons behind such drastic changes in pay.

“Employers who cannot compete on flexibility will have to compete more aggressively on pay,” Pollak stated. 

Because employees would rather stick with remote work, bosses have to sweeten the deal to get them back in the office.

“The conclusion is that people demand higher pay increases for fully in-office jobs,” Pollak said.

Workers have placed a premium on the flexibility that working from home provides, while employers seem to be stuck in an outdated mindset that people are more productive when they’re physically in an office. 




"Among some employers, there can be a perception that remote workers are less productive," Pollak said, adding that many bosses want people back in the office because they’re "psychologically and financially invested in their corporate real estate.”



There seems to be an ever-widening gap between what employers want versus what their employees want. It's not surprising that most workers want to avoid the office, especially since they've seen how beneficial working from home can be.


Offering an increase in pay is one way to smooth over workers’ discontent at being required to go into the office, though one has to wonder if the money is worth the trade-off for the ease that remote work provides. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.