As much as most of us want to see equality for all people regardless of race, gender, color, or creed, the truth remains that not all things are equal. Not all people are treated the same. Not all people are paid the same wage to do the same job. The cost of living is not the same in all locations and neither is the cost of doing business. There has been a long standing battle to ensure that men and women are paid equally for the same job and that wages are never dependent upon nor differentiated due to the color of a person’s skin. Nevertheless, wage gaps still remain and research indicates that biases based on gender, race, and beliefs are still alive and well. But is that where wage gaps end? The short answer is no.
The world we live in is constantly changing and evolving at a rate that seems to increase all the time as technologies increase. Twenty years ago, it would have been unthinkable to say that a growing majority of businesses could conduct operations with many of its employees only setting foot in the office a few times a year. Yet that is the current reality and working from home has seen a sharp increase in the past year. The great news is that working from home also saves everyone money! Research shows that the average employee can save 2.5 – 4K per year by skipping the commute, the restaurant lunches, and other work related expenses, and they’re certainly not alone. Businesses can also save big to the tune of 30 billion dollars a day, by allowing employees to work remotely. So, where does the wage gap come in?
The modern wage gap which we see emerging due to the increase of remote work, is one that is location based. Many employees who used to work in the office and in locations that had a higher cost of living, are now finding that their options for “home base” are widening considerably. If employees only need to come to their business headquarters a few times a year, it’s easily conceivable that their homes could be hundreds of miles away without having any effect on the quality of their work. In 2020, the business world saw a large increase of both employees and businesses moving to cheaper locations. Thus emerged the modern wage gap, in which the wage being paid does not always match the financial necessity of the individual based upon the employee’s locale. This gap is totally different from other wage gaps, in that it is not based on employer bias of any kind, but rather the decisions of the individual employee. Some companies are compensating by reducing salaries to match the cost of living or paying a bonus to relocated employees and then reducing salaries by a small percentage. Other companies have stated that relocation will not affect employee’s salaries. In any case, it will be interesting to see what effect this new wage gap has on our national and even the global economy.
Check out the infographic below to learn more about today’s modern wage gap:
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