Who Gets the Option to Work From Home? There's a Huge Disparity Tied to Income


Want to work from home? The vast majority of workers would like to have the option. Yet whether you can work remotely has a lot to do with your income.

Of all employees, 58% now have the option to work from home at least once per week, according to new research from McKinsey, a management consulting firm. However, big discrepancies emerge when factoring in earnings.

For example, a whopping 75% of workers making $150,000 or more have the option to work from home. Just 47% of people earning $25,000 to $49,999 can do the same.

On average, those high-income earners are also able to work from home more frequently than all other income levels, at 3.2 days per weekBy comparison, remote workers who make less than $50,000 reported working 2.9 days per week from home.

Of course, income isn’t the only factor. The authors note that workers who are younger and more educated work remotely at higher rates.

Some 65% of workers between the ages of 25 and 34 hold jobs that allow for at least some remote work.

On the other end of the spectrum, only 48% of 55- to 64-year-olds can work remotely. Surprisingly, even those 65 or older are more likely to work from home than that, and they do so more often at 3.5 days per week — the most frequent of all the age groups.

Regardless of income, race, age, or gender, those who hold advanced degrees (i.e. master’s or doctoral degrees) are most likely to be able to work from home at 76%, McKinsey’s survey found.

The benefits of remote work are manifold. Many remote workers report improved mental health and work-life balance. It’s also a way for workers to beat sky-high gas prices, which have hit record highs in June.

First borne out of necessity during the pandemic, remote work has become a make-or-break perk for many workers. McKinsey says it’s one of the top reasons folks are looking for new jobs.

“Employers should be aware that different groups perceive and experience remote work differently and consider how flexible working fits with their diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies,” the report states.

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