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How Much To Pay To Your Newly Remote Or Home-Office Team Members?

You probably know it all when it comes to setting up compensations and onboarding of your new in-house employees, but how do you apply that knowledge to a remote team? 

The whole world has been struck by a global pandemic, forcing many businesses and industries to quickly adapt to the new reality, and consider a culture of home office/remote work as the new normal.

Now, with the switch, how do you keep the conditions fair for everybody? How do you ensure your company is the one people want to apply to and keep working with? 

Below I’ll be talking about these delicate topics – compensations, benefits, and fairness of it across the company. I will be also providing an example of salary and benefits grids and packages, and the elements that are to be included in your company’s Wiki, to ensure transparency across teams. 

 

Salary and Compensation

 

The ultimate goal is that all team members have similar compensation conditions, whether they are remote or local. In order to do this, it is important to take into consideration the country they live in and that place’s living standards. For instance, a developer from Switzerland should have the same purchasing power as his colleague, who is living and working in Croatia.

In order to illustrate the importance of a determined compensation package, I’d like to put forward an example: let’s say, we are to create a compensation package for a back-end software engineer with three to four years of industry experience.

Each developer is evaluated based on his or her experience with the following different levels:

  • Expert
  • Advanced
  • Working
  • Limited
  • Learning
  • None

The position of each developer on your compensation package grid should be a combination of relevant experience in the role, additional responsibilities (maybe your developer is also a Scrum Master), and the region he or she is currently located at. Other variables might also be applicable.

Now let’s focus on the salary – I suggest dividing the grid by region:

– Region 1 (the crazy expensive countries): UK, USA (some states), Switzerland, Scandinavia.

– Region 2 (the developed standard): European Union members, such as France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, or Italy, as well as Canada, Australia, and the rest of the US States.

– Region 3 (the ‘in between’): The rest of Europe, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Russia, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, Egypt, Turkey, Post-Soviet countries (Asian side). 

– Region 4: The rest of the world.

According to this grid, and within the context of our example, these would be the lower and upper limits, per region, per year, for our developer (in US dollars): 

– Region 1: $80 – $100K

– Region 2: $65 – $80K

– Region 3: $40 – $65K

– Region 4: below $40K

Now, on stock options – they should be the must-have part of your compensation package. (If you wish to read more about this, check out this article

At nanos.ai, we have a “socialistic” approach with respect to stock options, meaning that we offer the same amount of stock to everyone at the company.

This measure is a great way to add on to a salary that is below the market average and makes team members feel being a part of the future of the company. It creates trust and a sense of belonging, regardless of whether the employees work in-office or remotely. 

 

Benefits

 

Here are the additional benefits you might want to add to your employee compensation packages:

– A generous stock options plan. 

– Holidays: up to 25 working days per year for 100% employment.

– A one-time allowance of $1K for a Home Setup. This can include monitors, a chair, a desk, and other personal things such as minimal sports equipment, or a set of dishes.

– A monthly allowance for take-out food and groceries.

– A continuous educational budget: set a limit for how much your remote employees can dedicate to learning.

– Work shut down between December 23 and January 1st, or “floating shifts” (this period of time is to be worked by the employee over the year in the form of extra minutes per day).

– Employees can submit a request to work on a public holiday and take that day as an extra work holiday.

– 1 moving day every year.

– Up to 3 days for the employee’s own wedding.

– 2-3 days for the death of a close relative or birth of a child.

– Paid health and dental insurance.

– Provision of a laptop worth $2-3K for each employee (after the end of the trial period), which they can keep after 3 years of employment or can buy at a discounted price if they leave before.

– Frequent team retreats: ski/beach locations 2-4 times a year, in which you fly in all remote employees and take care of transportation, food, hotel, beach, and ski expenses.

 

Transparency

 

A list of benefits shall be determined and applied to all open or future job offers and job postings within your company. If you are going for full transparency of the benefits and compensation, which, I understand, is a difficult but a healthy thing to do, the company Wiki, which is available to anybody internally, is a great way of making it the easiest way:

The Wiki is a document to be shared across your company. It explains how your company functions, what benefits you provide, how data needs to be handled, and what the rules of conduct are. For instance, your company’s organigram, where the number of team members is stated as well as roles and reporting lines, should be included within this document.

It is essential that this Wiki is frequently updated, as if inconsistent, you’ll be pointed at it immediately by your most notorious employees! So it’s a commitment from your side to not forget about it if you introduce any changes – to reflect those in the company Wiki as well. 

Overall, we at nanos.ai experienced a boost in productivity once we decided to move all-remote, with most employees reporting a higher satisfaction from their work, brought by the newly found flexibility when it comes to finding a balance between work and family. 

Switching from being in a physical space to fully remote working is a new era – with its clear opportunities and the need for continuous improvements, which are up to you, my friend, the CEO of your company.