Each week the NZ Herald's Cooking the Books podcast tackles a different money problem. Today, it's how to talk money to make sure both you and the boss are happy. Hosted by Frances Cook.
One of the tricky parts of a pandemic is that the rest of life insists on carrying on.
Just look at Auckland – it's not enough to have two lockdowns, now it's thrown a dysfunctional harbour bridge into the works, too.
Listen to the Cooking the Books podcast here:
The rest of life just won't take a pause.
It's the same with work and our pay packets. Businesses are hitting tough times right now, but so are workers.
The need to get a fair wage and keep paying bills doesn't stop, even when the borders shut down.
Whether you're a freelancer or contractor who's negotiating every job, or you're a fulltime employee who hasn't had a raise in a while, there are still ways to have the conversation and find a compromise that works for everyone.
If you're a freelancer
There's a delicate balance when you're negotiating for each job you get. You want to be paid a fair amount, without asking for so much that you collapse the deal entirely.
Rooney said you could talk to recruitment agencies, look at pay surveys, and talk to other freelancers to find out what sort of pay rates are considered standard at the moment.
"Naturally some contracts will pay more than others as well. Maybe tighter deadlines associated with some contracts, or new technology, or new standards or reporting standards that are being imposed."
The more information that you can get, the better armed you will be on what's a reasonable amount to start negotiations at.
Even searching job listing websites can be a good way to get current information that applies to your area.
Don't forget to factor sick and holiday pay into your rate, often at least 8 per cent more than what a fulltime staff member would charge.
If you're a fulltime worker
Again it helps to have as much information as you can to figure out your "market rate".
Salary surveys, job postings, and conversations with others in the industry, can help you figure out where you currently sit on the scale.
Don't forget that you need to keep the conversation positive, as you'll still be working with these people afterwards. Even if you're underpaid, your boss may not realise they've fallen behind standard industry rates.
Having a record of wins that you've produced for the company is always helpful; if you've produced a spotless health and safety record, brought money into the company, or helped the company keep contracts through the ructions of Covid-19, those are all wins that you should put in front of the boss.
"It goes back to that tall poppy that a lot of us suffer from," Rooney said.
"But if you go back and say, well, what have I done? Well I was involved in that particular project, show what you've achieved, a little bit over and above what was expected of you."
If the company you work for genuinely can't afford a pay rise right now, that's fair enough, but there are still things on the table that you can negotiate for.
Flexible working hours, or flexibility on where you work from, could add a lot of value to your life and shouldn't cost the company anything.
You could also ask for a compact week, such as working 10 hours across four days instead of eight hours across five days.
Sometimes companies have access to cheaper deals like transport vouchers, which don't cost them as much but will save you the same amount of money that you would have got through a pay rise.
Listen to the full interview in Cooking the Books podcast here, or the video above
• Listen to the full interview on the Cooking the Books podcast. You can find new episodes in the Herald, or subscribe on iHeartRadio, Apple podcasts app, or Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.