Remote Work – Not an Excuse to Pay Less

by | Oct 1, 2015 | Know-how, NoBorder, Remote work

Remote work offers many benefits besides the flexible working hours. It’s environmentally friendly, the atmosphere is typically less stressful than a traditional office environment, and it’s less distracting. Less distractions lead to more productivity!

If productivity means you’re successful at the beach (like we are here in San Diego!), in a bustling café on a cobblestone street, or resting in a hammock in your backyard – we’re all for it. We strongly suggest to any company that desires to be dynamic and happy in today’s tech marketplace to consider a remote environment for their team.

What Remote Work Is Not

Let’s be clear; a remote work environment is not an excuse for paying a skilled professional less money than a traditional employee of the same skill set. Working freelance is not short for “people who are less skilled than traditional employees”.

With that said, one of the most disturbing freelance practices we see today is the disparity in pay among remote workers around the world.

A young woman from Eastern Europe recently offered to create a logo for us for $5. We didn’t know how to react. How could we pay her that little for something as important to a brand and as complicated to concept as a logo?

This is not something just anyone can do, especially well. Whatever way you look at it, it’s definitely worthy of much more than a five dollar bill.

Earning a small amount of money working online should not be the natural effect of living in a country such as Serbia, or India, or Pakistan. Everyone, regardless of location, sex, race, or nationality, should be rated upon who they are, the quality of their work, their portfolio, and the projects they can deliver.


The Outcome of Remote Work Pay Disparity

We often wonder what the outcome is for a majority of the companies who pay their remote workers this way. We wonder – does this afford any loyalty? Any consistency? Any ability to work with a freelancer long-term and build a trustworthy relationship? How is a true symbiotic relationship of respect achieved when you pay someone so little, knowing just how unfair that rate of pay is?

It is dishonest at best, and we celebrate remote work that is rooted first and foremost in respect.

We believe in the basic rule of treating others like we want to be treated – especially those who are working with us and creating with us.

You Wouldn’t Pay an Employee That Little!

Could you imagine asking an in-house designer to work for a couple of hours for $5? Would it matter where they were born or what their first language was growing up? Moreover, wouldn’t that employee laugh as if you were crazy? Think about finding a new job? We feel the same rules apply in the remote world.

The Microsoft whitepaper Work without Walls points out that, “Business leaders assume employees who work remotely and take advantage of the policy are not really working. Employers lose direct oversight and cannot witness productivity firsthand.”

The key word here is firsthand. Whose job is it to measure productivity – the freelancer or the project manager? We believe that a truly capable project manager can measure productivity of remote workers by setting specific goals and measurable outcomes instead.

Because, let’s face it – witnessing someone’s presence doesn’t equate to their actual productivity.

A great team is not concerned first about control, but about the team environment, which sets the tone for productivity and ensures that there is never a need to battle for control.

We believe in an environment where we don’t have to control, because we’re all equal anyway. And that’s the main principle behind our problem with remote work pay disparity, and why we control so very little about how work is done and where it is done. Less control leads to more creativity and better outcomes. The environment is in essence what you make it. And that’s why we love remote work so much. Everyone should get the opportunity to enjoy their remote work – not have to starve doing it!

We are all equal in the Freelance World 

We are all equal. That is at the core of our values, and that’s why we believe in paying a fair, competitive rate for fair, competitive work.

We invite the freelance community to join us in our quest for equal pay in the remote work environment. Paying fair rates for remote work lifts us all. Let us continue to foster the open, organic, uplifting environment of freelance work by being honest with ourselves and others about what is simply unfair pay in the market.

It may be a quick fix, it may be cheaper – but not everything is about the bargain budget. Instead, the freelance world is fostered as an environment of integrity when remote workers are paid on time – and fairly.




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NoBorder Productions LLC

NoBorder Productions LLC

NoBorder Productions LLC
101 West Broadway, Suite 300
92101 CA, San Diego