Before the COVID-19 crisis, employees who worked exclusively from home for years were paid about seven percent less than those who never did, research from the ONS finds.
The research details the correlation of homeworking and rewards. It found that pre-pandemic homeworkers were less than half as likely to have been promoted between 2012 and 2017. While 38 percent were less likely to have received a bonus from 2013 to 2020.
However, those who had either moved to home working recently, or who balanced some work at home and some elsewhere, earned 12 percent more than those who never worked from home and were 35 percent more likely to have received training.
The data found that recent homeworkers were 42 percent more likely to get a bonus than those in the office, and occasional homeworkers were 28 percent more likely.
Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Working from home means you risk being out of sight and out of mind when it comes to pay rises, training and promotion. Long-term homeworkers are being overlooked and end up overworked and underpaid.
"However, not all homeworkers are equal. While those who have being doing it for years have suffered the consequences, those who have been offered more flexibility recently, and people who still show their face at the office regularly, are actually better off.
“This helps reveal some of the forces at play. People who need to work from home in order to juggle work and caring responsibilities for years, are far more likely to be under-appreciated.
“Some of this is down to managers doing a poor job of remembering people they don’t see on a regular basis. It may also be because of underlying bias that makes them think they’re not as serious about work. Managers who measure staff by the inputs they can see, rather than by their outputs, vastly underestimate the value of their remote staff.
“By contrast, those who are offered flexibility further into their career, are more likely to have it as a mark of their seniority and expertise. They are being offered homeworking as a benefit in order to retain them, so they’re rewarded accordingly. And those who balance flexibility with showing their face at the office remain front-of-mind too.”