The number of high-paid professionals working remotely will increase this year, according to a report released on Tuesday, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to reshape the workplace.
The study by Ladders Inc., a career site for work that pays at least $100,000, found that professionals who work in fields that emphasized tech skills and organizational skills prior to the pandemic are seeing the most remote work opportunities,
More than a quarter of all high-paying jobs will be available remotely by the end of the year, Ladders said.
“This is an underlying permanent shift that people are not taking seriously enough,” Ladders Inc. CEO Marc Cenedella said in a statement. “It’s the largest change in American working and living arrangements since World War Two."
Since people can work from anywhere, Cenedella added, they can live anywhere, "which will have a fundamental long-term impact on everything from who is on the local PTA to who is running our local towns to how and where we live.”
The company's quarterly remote work report shows 18% of all professional jobs are now remote. Prior to the pandemic, only about 4% of high paying jobs were available remotely.
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By the end of 2020, the number jumped to 9% and by the time 2021 ended, that figure doubled to about 18%. There are now nearly 156,000 high paying jobs available remotely.
"This life-changing shift to remote work is progressing even more rapidly than anyone thought it would,” Cenedella said. “Another 3 million jobs moved to being permanently remote in Q4 2021."
The accelerating change to permanent remote now means that over 20 million professional jobs will not be going back to the office after Covid, Cenedella added.
While many big companies, especially in the tech space, have predicted workers will return to offices, data doesn’t support that, he said.
"They are fooling themselves," Cenedella said. "Even companies predicting mass returns to in-office work are hiring remote workers right now. Those workers will not be willing to take on a commute and pivot to in-office work.”
Cenedella said companies are insisting the in-office model will prevail because of their real estate interests.
"Large companies have invested trillions of dollars in real estate that they don’t want to see wasted," he said.