Money talks, but certain sectors, organisations and regions are louder than others. Emily Wright looks at the headline figures from EG’s most recent survey.
Salaries rise again, but it pays to be prepared for the future
The headline on the pure remuneration side of this year’s survey is that salaries are up – by 5% compared with last year’s 2%. Corporate real estate bagged the biggest pay packet by area of work with an average of £66,365 – a 6.5% rise on last year. Investment and fund management came top of the list by organisation activity.
But Cobalt’s Christopher Mackenzie warns: “While the investment market remains strong, salaries and bonuses will continue to rise. But when the investment market dries up, so too do future job opportunities, pay rises and bonuses.
With this in mind, people would be foolish not to think about recession-proofing their future earnings. Tenant-focused work will create reliable income when fewer transactions are being agreed.
Larger organisations with reliable income and more predictable results are going to provide more consistent earnings than private equity players and niche investors.
London still top, but Leeds leads too
It’s no great surprise that, once again, London salaries are streets ahead of the rest. At an average of £53,834, they were also up by 5% on the previous year.
More surprising, though, is the average salary figure reported for Yorkshire. At £44,686 it is only just behind the average salary for the South East and comes in as the third most lucrative in the UK. So why does this region outperform the rest of its Northern counterparts to such an extent?
Andrew Gent, director of Yorkshire agency Gent Visick, says: “That figure could be down to the fact that we have lost so many people out of the industry in this region during the downturn. As firms are trying to repopulate they are having to offer good money.
There is a shortage of decent mid-tier people in the market and this is a small region. In the North West, for example, there are plenty of other cities outside of Manchester, but here it is really competitive, and so firms are having to offer decent packages to persuade the best people to move.
Benefits that click with employees
Salary did not just fail to top the list when respondents were asked to select the most important factor in their jobs, it trailed by nearly 10 percentage points on challenging and interesting work. And when it comes to reasons for moving jobs, a higher salary was only fourth on the checklist, behind better prospects, a fresh challenge and joining a company with a good reputation.
In a world where work is not just about the remuneration, office environment, design and added extras have never been more important for attracting and retaining staff. On-site gyms, decent coffee machines and free fruit all made it onto the list of most popular nice-to-haves. But none came anywhere close to a decent work/life blend, which 86% of respondents voted as one of the most important elements of their working lives.
This was followed by a mobile device for work – which makes sense given the more flexible, fluid nature of modern working, and that 22% of people now use LinkedIn and 21% use Facebook at least once a day for work. Being online throughout the day has never been more important, but these ticks in the box have not replaced financial rewards. Almost half of those surveyed expect a guaranteed bonus with any new job.