My goal is decide when enough is enough and when the "market" has spoken? Would you wait 3 mos of similiar low rates, 6 mos or next year once COVID abates?
You're getting ahead of yourself. It's not about the market, it's about what you are willing to sign up for. The concept of a "market" is really just an aggregation of a sufficiently large set of people and what they were willing to sign up for.
This is the early adopter question. Do you buy in early to maximize the early adopter benefits, at the cost of making more of a jump in the unknown? At what point is an adopter no longer an early adopter?
I can't decide that for you, this is something we all have to decide for ourselves. I'm an eager early adopter for technology and I quickly invest in a new technology, but I'm not equally adventurous with my career prospects and I tend to wait for a stable market so I can make a well-justified high-confidence move.
It is true that the market eventually starts feeding into what people sign up for, as knowledge of the market drives people's expectations based on how they feel "the market is", which is just another way of saying "what other people get on average".
But the WFH-breeze created by COVID has wiped the slate, and there is no post-COVID "market" as of yet. Once again, the "market" will eventually be formed once there has been enough data on a large set of people and what job vs salary they were willing to sign up for.
- Will job offers on average lower because of WFH?
- Will non-remote jobs increase their financial offer to offset the lack of WFH in their offer?
- Will companies who don't do WFH post-COVID bleed employees, driving them to increase their offers to retain staff?
- Will housing prices be affected by people no longer needing to be geographically close to their place of business?
These are all valid questions, and they will be answered in time. For now, we can only make educated guesses as to the direction of these changes, but not really the size of them.
On a personal note, as a detached consultant I have opted to move to a permanently WFH-friendly internal position, as I personally expect that consultancy will soon start predominantly getting contracts from the companies that bleed staff because they refuse WFH-friendly policies, and those are not the kinds of companies I'll enjoy working with. But this is just a personal estimation, I have no concrete proof of that. I'm just getting ahead of the issues.
It's currently simply not possible to project about a future post-COVID world and how its markets behave, since this new WFH-approach is actually the first time we've seen this happening. During the last pandemic (Spanish flu), there was no WFH because the technology wasn't at the required level.
The short answer is we simply cannot tell, and in the end it's always up to you to decide whether you're happy with a company's offering or not.
Do people see WFH forever in their company? We have been told no return to office on horizon.
This is a struggle between employers and employees, and it's not clear yet where the ball will drop.
I personally know companies who will immediately revert to full office work when they can, those who intend to stay remote for most if not full time, and those who are opening up to a more hybrid approach.
The only reasonable judgment we can make now is that it's clear that the average WFH stance will be more favorable compared to the pre-COVID world. Depending on the sector, certain companies have seen no dip in productivity, and some have even noted a positive effect (my current company being one of them).
I am getting $40/hr to $65 hr pretty regularly for WFH postion. It might do well in Ohio but you will get crushed in NYC.
As with all things, a cause has an effect. If we increase the WFH nature of employment, this also loosens the constraint of geographic cost of living.
Why on Earth would a company pay you more than Bob for a full remote position, just because of where you live, if neither you or Bob are ever going to come into the office? You and Bob's location doesn't matter to the company anymore, so it shouldn't factor into the salary they offer.
In the hypothetical "everyone goes remote where they can" world, this will see a massive redistribution of population, as people will figure out that they can go live in a more remote and cheaper area without even having to change jobs/income. This will decrease real estate prices near CBDs, and it will eventually raise prices in more remote areas.
While this is not a workplace comment per se, I don't really see that as a bad thing. I expect that this redistribution of population density might be a struggle while it happens, e.g. people who own city real estate will lose real estate value, and people who want to buy real estate in cheaper areas will have to deal with raised prices (which is the anti-gentrification argument).
But over the long haul it might do a lot of good in other areas, as it dramatically reduces the need for a densely populated city, which leads to dense traffic and localized pollution (air, noise, light, ...), a high need for long distance food transportation from agricultural to metropolitan areas, ... There will also be negatives attached to this, e.g. physical services have to spread out further due to a more spread out population.
But the summary to your question is that we don't know yet how big the eventual impact will be, and while a post-COVID world is in sight, how the markets will behave can't be accurately predicted as we're not there yet and we don't actually have historical data to build a projection on top of.