The Growing Inequality of Who Gets to Work from Home | Harvard Business Review

Workforce Trends

This article explores the growing disparity in remote work opportunities, particularly emphasizing its prevalence in higher-paying roles that demand more experience, full-time employment, and advanced education. Drawing insights from a U.S. online job advertisement database, key research findings include: Work experience. Only 3% of entry-level jobs offer remote work options, while over 25% of positions requiring at least seven years of experience embrace remote work. Education. Only 1.9% of jobs requiring a high school education provide remote work, compared to 29% for roles demanding a post-graduate degree. Full-time vs. part-time. A mere 3% of part-time job ads feature remote work opportunities, contrasting with over 10% for full-time job ads. Pay Level. Higher salaries are associated with an increasing prevalence of remote or hybrid work options. In 2023, around 10% of $60,000 jobs, 20% of $100,000 jobs, and over 30% of $200,000 jobs offer remote or hybrid work. The authors, which include Nick Bloom, a Professor of Economics at Stanford University who has been studying remote work for over two decades, urge managers and executives to consider how to close this gap (e.g., offer alternative forms of flexibility, such as a four-day workweek; offer pay adjustments to offset the uneven benefits associated with remote work). As leaders think through multiple implications of remote work decisions, I am resharing my one-page playlist of five resources to consider.