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58 percent of US workers now have the option to work where they want at least one day a week, while 35 percent can work remotely up to five days a week, according to a new survey conducted by management consulting company McKinsey. The report concludes that flexible work arrangements implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are here to stay.
“After more than two years of observing remote work and predicting that flexible working would endure after the acute phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, we view these data as a confirmation that there has been a major shift in the working world and in society itself,” reads the report.
The survey found that when given the choice, 87 percent of workers embrace the opportunity to work remotely and spend an average of three days a week at home. That means 92 million American workers have the opportunity to work remotely and 80 million are currently doing so at least part time, when the survey data is extrapolated to the entire US population. 41 percent of those surveyed say they don’t have any option to work remotely.
Young educated people with high incomes had the most remote work possibilities, according to McKinsey. And men were offered more remote working opportunities (61 percent) compared with women (52 percent). 47 percent of people earning between $25,000 and $49,000 had remote work opportunities compared to 75 percent for people making over $150,000.
Flexible work arrangements also vary by occupation and role, of course. 89 percent of people employed in computer and mathematical occupations have remote work options while that number drops to just 29 percent for food preparation and production work. Job hunters surveyed prioritize flexible working arrangements behind only pay and career opportunities.
The online survey queried 25,000 Americans aged 18 and older. But because it was conducted online, McKinsey admits that the survey could be biased against people with lower incomes, less education, and people living in rural areas as these groups tend to be underrepresented on the internet. The firm attempted to overcome any possible bias with weighted models.