Are you stupid?

Over the last year and a half, people have been debating WFH and going back to the office on a regular basis. An important aspect is whether there should be differential pay for those WFH vs. coming to the office.

When people were asked if they would be willing to take a 15% deduction in pay to continue working from home, they went ballistic (perhaps rightfully so). However, when the same question was phrased differently, as whether they would be willing to let go of WFH, people considered it as a real possibility and thought about it.

Now, as a ‘rational’ person, both options are identical (adjusting percentage conversion). So why would people be staunchly opposed to one while far more accepting of the other? Why is it when one framing of the question incenses us, the other sounds like a great opportunity?

The answer is perhaps loss aversion – the human tendency to value things we have much more than things we don’t have (in terms of pure value). Essentially, retaining 100 rupees we already have is valuable than 100 rupees we could potentially gain. While on purely rational terms this is invalid, humans are not rational, we are at best reasonable beings.

So, if you are thinking similarly, you are not stupid, you are only human.

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