- Jobs paying $100,000 or more have increasingly shifted to remote during the pandemic, according to an analysis of data from North America's 50,000 largest employers by career site Ladders.
- Pre-pandemic, remote jobs accounted for about 4% of all such jobs, Ladders said. That figure increased to 9% by the end of 2020; 18% by the end of last year. The company's researchers project a quarter or more of high-paying jobs will be remote by the end of 2022.
- Technology roles dominated Ladders' list of the ten job titles with most high-paying remote opportunities, including senior software engineer, software engineer, DevOps engineer and data engineer. The list also included roles in product management and product marketing.
Ladders' findings may not be too surprising given how the remote work trend has played out for high-paying sectors. Past reports have documented, for example, the movement of technology workers away from regions such as Silicon Valley in favor of setting up remotely elsewhere.
But the growth of remote jobs also may demonstrate the pull in-demand talent has in the current labor market. An April 2021 survey by Prudential found 87% of respondents who had been working remotely said they wanted to do so at least one day per week post-pandemic, while 42% of remote respondents said they would look for another job if their employer refused to offer remote work in the long term.
That is despite the preferences of some managers. An August 2021 Society for Human Resource Management survey of supervisors found 67% considered remote workers to be more expendable than on-site workers, and more than 70% said they preferred having subordinates working in an office. Cost to replace key talent is another factor in that calculus, however, and employers might accept this trend when new hires also may need to be based remotely.
Employers may need to note that not every worker has the same level of access to remote work. That is in part because of the existing disparity in metrics such as broadband internet adoption and technology ownership. For example, a 2021 Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults found 24% of those with incomes below $30,000 a year did not own a smartphone, and 43% of those with lower incomes did not have home broadband service, whereas more than 90% of those with incomes in excess of $100,000 annually had both.
Similarly, a 2021 report by The Mom Project's WerkLabs found one-third of Black mothers and one-fourth of Latina mothers reported that they were unable to work remotely during the pandemic. Findings like this have raised concerns from worker advocates that the proliferation of remote-enabled jobs could exclude underrepresented groups from career growth and job opportunities.