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You have been at your current place of employment for some time and you know you are doing a great job. Even your manager/boss has acknowledged it. Seems like the perfect time to ask for a raise in salary. But sometimes, "Ask and you shall receive" doesn't go quite so smoothly.

With budget limitations or cuts, company rules and regulations, or some other barrier put in place preventing your boss from being able or wanting to grant you your wish, getting a raise isn't always doable. That said, there are other avenues to explore and negotiate that can add value to your bottom line.

More money per paycheck isn't the only way to find the perks and plusses you're seeking. Here are three valuable things you can ask for when a flat-out raise is flatlined.

Travel Reimbursement

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Most of us must commute to work, be it by car or public transportation. Gas isn't cheap, nor are tickets for busses, subways, and trains. Parking fees can add up, as can tolls and car maintenance. And the further you must travel to and from work, the more you'll have to shell out.

As suggested by mindbodygreen, "Calculate the travel expenses you plan to incur each month, and ask for a stipend to help ease this expense. If it means you'll be at work and meetings on time and safely, your company just might build this allowance into your contract." Fast Company adds, "You should at least be reimbursed for mileage you drive on behalf of the company."

While travel reimbursement may not add up to the amount in salary increase you'd hoped for, the savings will add up over time. Plus, there will be another chance to ask for a raise in the future, and now you'll have your travel covered too!

A Flexible Schedule

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A better work-life balance can be as rewarding as a pay raise. A more flexible schedule can provide a relief from stress and the ability to successfully manage your life. According to Forbes, "In a recent survey by Adecco, employees said work-life balance was as valuable to them as their salaries."

Fast Company notes, "Time off and flex time might not seem like a compensation boost, but having the ability to shift your hours or work from home can cut commuting expenses and give you better work/life balance."

Ask your boss if you can avoid traffic by starting the work day later and staying later, or coming in early and leaving before rush hour. Discuss working remotely a few days per week if your job allows for it. Perhaps you can take the night shift or work weekends.

The more you have control over your work schedule, the more satisfied you'll feel. It may not mean more money, but time itself is precious.

A New Title

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"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," but when it comes to a job title, some come off a lot better than others, in terms of importance and value to the company. Just because you can't get a monetary raise doesn't mean you can't get a boost in business. You may not even gain new responsibilities with this new title, but it can give the impression that you are more seasoned and higher in rank. Plus, if, and when the time comes to seek work someplace else, your more impressive title will jump off your resume.

As per mindbodygreen, "A new title can be just the thing to reflect all of the interesting projects you're working on and to boost your confidence and that of those around you." Harvard Business Review adds, "It's a signal both to the outside world and to your colleagues of what level you are within your organization. Your title can also have a big impact on your day-to-day happiness and engagement."

Raise your hand for a raise, but if your boss can't put their money where their mouth is, perhaps one of these three alternatives will make you feel appreciated. Good luck!

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Over two years into the most momentous event in our lives the world has changed forever … Some of us have PTSD from being locked up at home, some are living like everything’s going to end tomorrow, and the rest of us are merely trying to get by. When the pandemic hit we entered a perpetual state of vulnerability, but now we’re supposed to return to normal and just get on with our lives.

What does that mean? Packed bars, concerts, and grocery shopping without a mask feel totally strange. We got used to having more rules over our everyday life, considering if we really had to go out or keeping Zooming from our living rooms in threadbare pajama bottoms.

The work-from-home culture changed it all. Initially, companies were skeptical about letting employees work remotely, automatically assuming work output would fall and so would the quality. To the contrary, since March of 2020 productivity has risen by 47%, which says it all. Employees can work from home and still deliver results.

There are a number of reasons why everyone loves the work from home culture. We gained hours weekly that were wasted on public transport, people saved a ton of money, and could work from anywhere in the world. Then there were the obvious reasons like wearing sweats or loungewear all week long and having your pets close by. Come on, whose cat hasn’t done a tap dance on your keyboard in the middle of that All Hands Call!

Working from home grants the freedom to decorate your ‘office’ any way you want. But then people needed a change of environment. Companies began requesting their employees' RTO, thus generating the Hybrid Work Model — a blend of in-person and virtual work arrangements. Prior to 2020, about 20% of employees worked from home, but in the midst of the pandemic, it exploded to around 70%.

Although the number of people working from home increased and people enjoyed their flexibility, politicians started calling for a harder RTW policy. President Joe Biden urges us with, “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again.”

While Boris Johnson said, “Mother Nature does not like working from home.'' It wasn’t surprising that politicians wanted people back at their desks due to the financial impact of working from the office. According to a report in the BBC, US workers spent between $2,000 - $5,000 each year on transport to work before the pandemic.

That’s where the problem lies. The majority of us stopped planning for public transport, takeaway coffee, and fresh work-appropriate outfits. We must reconsider these things now, and our wallets are paying

the price. Gas costs are at an all-time high, making public transport increase their fees; food and clothes are all on a steep incline. A simple iced latte from Dunkin’ went from $3.70 to $3.99 (which doesn’t seem like much but 2-3 coffees a day with the extra flavors and shots add up to a lot), while sandwiches soared by 14% and salads by 11%.

This contributes to the pressure employees feel about heading into the office. Remote work may have begun as a safety measure, but it’s now a savings measure for employees around the world.

Bloomberg are offering its US staff a $75 daily commuting stipend that they can spend however they want. And other companies are doing the best they can. This still lends credence to ‘the great resignation.’ Initially starting with the retail, food service, and hospitality sectors which were hard hit during the pandemic, it has since spread to other industries. By September 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4.4 million resignations.

That’s where the most critical question lies…work from home, work from the office or stick to this new hybrid world culture?

Borris Johnson thinks, “We need to get back into the habit of getting into the office.” Because his experience of working from home “is you spend an awful lot of time making another cup of coffee and then, you know, getting up, walking very slowly to the fridge, hacking off a small piece of cheese, then walking very slowly back to your laptop and then forgetting what it was you’re doing.”

While New York City Mayor Eric Adams says you “can't stay home in your pajamas all day."

In the end, does it really matter where we work if efficiency and productivity are great? We’ve proven that companies can trust us to achieve the same results — or better! — and on time with this hybrid model. Employees can be more flexible, which boosts satisfaction, improves both productivity and retention, and improves diversity in the workplace because corporations can hire through the US and indeed all over the world.

We’ve seen companies make this work in many ways, through virtual lunches, breakout rooms, paint and prosecco parties, and — the most popular — trivia nights.

As much as we strive for normalcy, the last two years cannot simply be erased. So instead of wiping out this era, it's time to embrace the change and find the right world culture for you.

What would get you into the office? Free lunch? A gym membership? Permission to hang out with your dog? Some employers are trying just that.

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Did you hear about the Great Resignation? It isn’t over. Just over two years of pandemic living, many offices are finally returning to full-time or hybrid experiences. This is causing employees to totally reconsider their positions.

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