Report predicts 25% of high-paying jobs will be remote by 2023

When the COVID-19 pandemic first reared its head in the U.S., scores of well paid employees who had been tethered to an office environment were suddenly afforded the luxury of working from home.

The change has allowed workers to avoid long commutes, spend more time with family and generally achieve a better work/life balance.

A new report from Ladders, a career site for high-paying jobs, says things will likely stay that way. In fact, Ladders predicts that 25% of all professional jobs that pay $80,000 or more will be remote by the end of 2022.

‘Bigger than people think’

“This change in working arrangements is impossible to overhype,” Ladders CEO Marc Cenedella said in a statement. “As big as it is, it’s even bigger than people think.”

Cenedella deems it “the largest societal change in America since the end of World War II.”

“It’s a complete economic restructuring,” he said. “It changes everything. Work consumes about half of our waking hours. So when you change where you’re working and how you’re working, it impacts your entire life.”

Ladders’ researchers have been tracking remote work availability from North America’s largest 50,000 employers — not just those with listings on Ladders — since the pandemic began.

The data show remote opportunities leapt from under 4% of all high paying jobs before the pandemic to about 9% at the end of 2020, and to more than 15% today. With the growth rate expected to remain steady, the report projects a quarter of all high paying jobs will be available remotely within 12 months.

Saving on real estate

Another study from shows remote working can save business an average of 32% in real estate costs, although in some cases the savings will be even higher.

In a breakout by industries, Consultancy’s report shows insurance businesses will save an average of 47% in real estate costs by 2024. The retail sector is expected to acheive the same level of savings, while companies involved in financial services will cut costs by 45%.

“Ever since lockdown measures were put in place, organizations have been looking at their real estate infrastructure and revisiting ownership and leasing strategies,” the study said. “In our survey, 88% of organizations agree that they have realised real-estate cost savings with remote working in the last three to four months, and 92% expect savings in the next two to three years.”

Another far-reaching effect

Remote work frees employees from having to live in a large city, so Cenedella expects smaller cities and towns will continue to grow. Cities that have appealing lifestyle elements but have historically lacked access to good, professional jobs will see significant growth, he said.

“Those cities will see an influx of high-earning, well-educated professionals, which will change their school boards, their planning commissions and even the services offered to residents,” Cenedella said. “Remote work at this scale will transform some communities completely.”

The remote work model will obviously not work for some employees, so some businesses have adopted a hybrid arrangement that allows employees to work from home a few days a week while the remainder of their time is spent at the office.

But that inhibits workers from considering drastically different living locales, as they still need to be within a commutable distance to an office. It also limits a company’s ability to attract talent from outside its immediate area.

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