Three steps to negotiate for a pay rise using digital communication tools

March 31, 2022

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Starting a conversation about your salary is often challenging. The possibility of rejection and disappointment can make you feel fear and get tongue-tied.

With the right timing and enough preparation, you’ll feel more confident in making your request.

But when you are working remotely, asking for a pay increase has an additional obstacle. Your communication channels might be limited to virtual meetings and digital communication tools such as emails or messaging apps. It isn’t easy to time your request if you work in different time zones. Furthermore, you cannot see your employers in real life, so social cues are limited. 

But it is not impossible. Here are three ways to negotiate for a pay increase when you are working remotely via digital communication tools.

1. Asking for a Raise via Email

An email is the easiest way to ask for more money when working remotely. That’s because you are giving your manager time to consider your request before making a decision. 

Your managers need time to consider your request, evaluate your progress on your career track, and analyse your contributions. They may also need to review company finances to see if their budget can accommodate a raise.

One pro about remote working is that you can avoid impromptu conversations about employee salary increases. So there is lesser frustration by other employees when a pay increase is proposed. Still, your management must consider the underlying message they would send to you and your peers should they grant your request. 

With that in mind, your email can include these points:

  • You can request a meeting to discuss your compensation (in the subject line of the message)
  • You can state why you deserve a salary increase. along with additional responsibilities you have taken on in your role
  • You should also highlight skills or certifications you have acquired since you were hired.

It’s also a good idea to talk about how enthusiastic you are about your job and working at the company. 

Also, it’s better to ask for an opportunity to discuss a raise rather than to ask directly for a bigger paycheck.

2. Using Zoom or other virtual calls to ask for a pay increase

Working mainly from home, it’s easier to schedule this meeting via Zoom or Google Meet without worrying about the prying eyes of colleagues at the office. Therefore it’s a good idea to use a virtual meeting to raise the subject of a pay increase. 

When showing up at a virtual meeting, ensure that you are well prepared and schedule the online discussion. 

Here are a few ways to prepare for a virtual conference call: 

First, you should know your worth. Research the market value of someone in your position and compare your salary. The Robert Walters digital salary survey tool is ideal for getting an extensive overview of the salary trends of professionals in your field. Keep your arguments about why your pay increase is due and the amount you would like to earn at hand.

Secondly, show self-confidence. Remember that your manager can observe your expressions on a Zoom call, so it is important to maintain a calm front when your manager questions your arguments or appears to disagree with what you say. Ensure you know what your employer expects and how your skills contribute to this. 

Another way to boost your self-confidence is to choose a well-lit coworking environment with comfortable work booths so that you can carry out your Zoom call. It should also offer some privacy so that you are not interrupted when having this conversation. 

Thirdly, you can offer to take on more responsibilities during the online meeting. Employers appreciate the ambition and are eager to retain people with these qualities. So schedule a mid-term review meeting on a virtual conference call with your manager within six months to show how far you’ve come.

Finally, make use of the meeting to highlight additional training, courses and extra qualifications that you have acquired. Highlight these different courses relevant to your position for a higher salary. If your manager seems reluctant, you might also want to take this chance to ask for further professional training. 

3. Using Slack to ask for a pay rise 

Slack is a messaging app that allows businesses to have multiple ongoing conversations. In Slack, you can create channels for different teams to work together. You can also create threads for side conversations about the same project. Since everyone is kept on the same platform, you’ll have an overview of the project even if you are not working on the same team. 

There are two main ways to utilize Slack to ask for a pay increase.

The first is to use the ongoing conversations to understand how different teams operate and glean insights into how they are managed. If you are working under a manager and want more responsibility, knowing how other groups feel about their work helps you observe the gaps and highlight them to your manager. It conveys that you are a proactive leader who understands how to improve employee motivation. 

The second is that Slack can become a platform for you to establish yourself as a thought leader. The ability of Slack to create polls, send pictures and messages mean you have multiple opportunities to engage with other remote employees. The more you use the channels effectively, the higher your visibility in the remote workplace. 

Since remote working often involves stretches of independent work, Slack offers a wonderful platform for you to influence other colleagues through the above methods. In the long run, asking for a pay increase becomes easier.


You might get a bit more nervous than usual when you work remotely because you might think “out of sight, out of mind”. However, you will notice that working away from the office is not necessarily different from being in the office. The basics of staying visible, taking on more responsibility and proactively going for professional development applies before you ask for a pay increase. What changes are that you need to do all of these via digital communication tools now.  

These three suggestions of using digital technology tools to ask for a pay increase will allow both parties some space to get out of awkward situations. 

 Just remember: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Take time to plan your pitch, have the arguments ready and get the pay you deserve.

About Deskimo

Deskimo is the flexible work platform of choice that helps businesses navigate the new future of work. With us, you and your business can adapt to flexible work, and pay-as-you-go across dozens of spaces in Singapore, Indonesia, and Hong Kong.

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