Are the increases in salaries finally reflective of the amount of work that goes into it?

We’ve all had that moment where we’ve received a job offer, we’re looking over the contract – and this sentence appears: ‘In busy periods, extra working hours may be required – however overtime will not be paid’. The ambiguity of this statement can be slightly concerning, especially when you think about how often this actually happens. If you work in retail, you can pretty much guarantee that during peak (from October until Christmas), you’ll be knocking up additional hours of work, pressure, and inevitably stress. This, alongside the fatigue of ending yet another long, tiring year is bound to leave a sour taste in anyone’s mouth – especially when a pay packet isn’t reflective of the amount of effort that has gone in, and the company’s success.

However, as ‘The Great Resignation’ continues, and, as for the first time ever there’s more candidates than jobs, the tables have now turned. With candidates pickier than ever, and with a smorgasbord of opportunities on the table, with a new air of confidence, successful jobseekers are able to negotiate a fair remuneration for the role they’re about to undertake.

Since the pandemic, productivity of working from home has actually gone up (despite what some reports may say), as people find less distraction, and are more able to work on their own terms. On the flip side, with many of our desks literally being in our bedrooms, the capacity to switch off is more difficult than ever, and a 5:30pm finish can be somewhat of a rarity. And, again, with many of these hours not often being compensated, many are considering places where their time will feel more rewarded.

One other thing that can’t be ignored? The rates of inflation and the effects of Brexit. With the cost of living (and not to mention the gas bills) on the rise, it’s only right that earnings rise alongside this. Whilst it’s not a situation that is so linear, successful companies with cash to spare should be making the smartest investment of all – in their people. Whilst, in comparison to other companies we enjoy the great benefits of free medical care, there’s plenty of other areas in which we are lacking, with rising taxes and national insurance – something that is sadly having a huge effect on the younger cohorts – the entry level candidates and university graduates.

Whilst this boom in demand and salaries is unlikely to be a long-term thing, the hope is that the demand to entice the very best candidates continues to be demonstrated in one of the most important ways – by the offer of a fair paycheck.