PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Over the past year, many businesses started bringing workers back into the office.

For Sheri Shannon, director of Shannon Strategies, the office environment was never something she saw as necessary for her business to thrive.

Shannon Strategies is a communications firm specializing in policy and progressive politics. Some of her clients are here in Hampton Roads.

“For me what I really enjoy about working remotely especially as a small business owner is that I don’t have to worry about commuting all the time. I’m also able to have a wider reach in recruiting talent,” Shannon said.

Shannon says her employees are productive and happier with their work-life balance under the relaxed structure of remote working. 

According to the Working From Home Research Project, four in 10 employers planned to use remote work as a way to ease overall wage growth pressures, including marketing it as a benefit for employees to compensate for a lower salary.

10 On Your Side took to the streets to see if people in Portsmouth would be willing to take a pay cut to continue working from home.

“On the basics you save so much money. Without the commute, without having to wear business clothes. Things like that,” said Angela Meadows. “Just the added quality time, you’re right at home, you don’t lose that time commuting, so it wouldn’t be worth a few dollars more to me.”

“I would rather use the remote option because travel costs are expensive. Gas, tolls, transportation insurance, car payments, things of that nature, then working from home you can really be more productive,” said Andy Sutter.

It’s unclear if it’s even legal to pay someone less for doing the same job remotely.

Shannon says the most important thing as an employer is protecting your workers. 

“For employers to say because you now work from home that they are allowed to pay you less because they value you less, I think that’s exploitative, I think that’s awful … I encourage more business owners who are in a position like myself to actually be vocal about that, because that is unethical, we should not be doing that,” Shannon said.