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Workers Embracing the Return-To-Office Policy Are Getting Bigger Paychecks

Employees who swap a remote job for an office full-time role could see a 30% jump in their paychecks.
Cover Image Source: Unsplash | Photo by Jp Valery
Cover Image Source: Unsplash | Photo by Jp Valery

Today, nearly all employers have or are calling workers to get back to the office. However, new research from ZipRecruiter has revealed that there is a steep price that companies have to pay to have employees back. The data shared with CNBC Make It showed that employees who swap their remote job for working in an office full-time could see a hefty increase, up to 30% in their paychecks.

Cover Image Source: Unsplash | Photo by Arlington Research
Image Source: Unsplash | Photo by Arlington Research

An increase in pay for in-person jobs has coincided with more companies increasingly enforcing their return-to-office mandates. A 2023 survey from Resume Builder showed that about 90% of companies plan to implement some type of return-to-office policy by the end of 2024. Furthermore, 30% of such employers said that they would threaten to fire employees who don’t comply with in-office requirements.


While these employers are taking punitive approaches to bring employees back to the office, several others are using bigger paychecks to lure workers back to their desks.

As per ZipRecruiters data, salaries for fully in-office roles are climbing in the U.S. with companies offering an average of $82,037 for in-person roles. This is nearly a 40% jump from what these roles paid in 2023 ($59,085), according to data provided to CNBC Make It.

Furthermore, workers who switched from a remote job to an in-office job last year saw a 29.2% jump in their wages, which is nearly double that of those who left an in-person job to work remotely. On the other hand, workers who left one remote role for another remote job got a pay bump of 22.1%. Lastly, those who switched roles got a pay bump of 23.2%, which is also less than those who went back to office.

Meanwhile, pay for remote and hybrid jobs hasn’t grown much. Hybrid roles pay $59,992 on average, as of March 2024. The same in 2023 was $54,034, ZipRecruiter reports.

In the case of remote jobs, the average pay is about $75,327, but in 2023, the average salary for report workers was $69,107 only an 8% increase.

ZipRecruiter’s data is based on job listings from its platform and survey responses from over 1,500 U.S. adults who started new jobs last year.

“If employers can’t compete on flexibility, they’re having to compete more aggressively on pay,” Julia Pollak, ZipRecruiter’s chief economist said in the report. 


This trend was supported by data from the video conferencing company, Owl Labs which showed employees splitting time between home and the office consider compensation for covering their commuting costs as the top work perk that would get them to come in more.

Pollak also notes that some companies may use better compensation to improve retention. This is because there is still a lot of "churn" in industries with fewer remote roles, according to Pollak.

“It seems like more employers are realizing that you need long-term strategies, whether it’s improving salaries or introducing better health-care packages, to hold on to your best workers,” Pollak says in the report.

However, the report also points out that it is still too soon to tell if higher salaries are enough to convince people to choose an in-office job over a remote offer.


A 2024 survey from  FlexJobs found that workers are still looking for remote work opportunities, with 75% of the respondents saying they would take up such job offers. Furthermore, half of the respondent workers surveyed said they would even take a pay cut for the policy.