Roughly a fifth (18 per cent) of all white-collar jobs in North America are now remote positions, according to a new report by Ladders Inc.

It found that, in the fourth quarter of 2021, another three million jobs moved to being permanently remote. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, only four per cent of high-paying jobs were available remotely and by the end of 2020, that number jumped to nine per cent, said the report.

It also predicted that 25 per cent of all high-paying jobs will be available remotely by the end of 2022, noting that employees working in fields emphasizing technology and organizational skills are seeing the most remote work opportunities.

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“This life-changing shift to remote work is progressing even more rapidly than anyone thought it would,” said Marc Cenedella, chief executive officer of Ladders, in a press release. “The accelerating change to permanent remote work now means that more than 20 million professional jobs won’t be going back to the office after COVID-19.”

The shift to remote work even after the pandemic ends is being driven by employee appetite, said Cenedella, adding that employers still focused on a full return to the office post-pandemic “are fooling themselves. Even companies predicting mass returns to in-office work are hiring remote workers right now. Those workers will not be willing to take on a commute and pivot to in-office work.”

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