Job postings that allow at least one day of remote work per week have tripled since 2019.
That's according to a working paper distributed by the National Bureau of Economic Research on Monday. The paper analyzed job postings in five English-speaking countries: the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
'The pandemic catalyzed an enduring shift to remote work,' the authors concluded. Job postings offering the opportunity to work from home at least one day a week increased threefold in the U.S., and for the four other countries studied, remote-work opportunities grew approximately fivefold.
The authors looked at job postings from more than 50,000 online sources, including government job boards, employer websites and job-aggregation sites. They examined over 250 million job-vacancy postings across those five countries.
The researchers said they achieved '99% accuracy in flagging job postings that advertise hybrid or fully remote work.'
Hybrid-work trends vary across industries, cities and occupations, the researchers found. Industries seeing a high number of remote-work posts usually require significant use of computers and include the finance, insurance, information and communications industries.
Business hubs such as Chicago, London, New York, San Francisco and Toronto — which are arguably more expensive to live in than second-tier cities and their surrounding commuter belts — also had a higher share of remote-work opportunities.
Remote-work opportunities are more common in business hubs like Toronto, London, New York, New York, San Francisco, San Francisco, and London.
Companies were forced to request that no-necessary workers work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many employers did not abandon the home-based model, but many companies adopted hybrid models that required workers to visit the office only a few days per week.
According to a Federal Reserve Bank of New York analysis, more than 15% of full time employees work remotely and 30% work in hybrid mode.
According to researchers, the percentage of remote job postings in 2019 was 4% in the U.S., 3 percent in the U.K., and 1% in Australia and New Zealand. They say that the share has risen to over 10% in all five countries since January 2023, and it is still increasing.
The authors pointed out that remote support often comes down to management decisions rather than technical limitations.
'In many occupations, it is misleading to think of remote-work suitability as a purely technological constraint. Remote-work intensity is, instead, an outcome of choices about job design and how to operate an organization,' the paper said.
Peter J. Lambert, an economist at the London School of Economics and Political Science and co-author of the paper, stated that whether a company advertises remote/hybrid arrangements explicitly in job ads reflects the nature of job and myriad market forces.
Those market forces include whether working from home fits in with pre-existing organizational structures, the preferences of current workers and how competitive the search for talent is in specific markets, Lambert wrote in an email to MarketWatch.
The pandemic was the main shock that caused the data to change, but other technological changes (e.g. He said that the introduction of faster broadband or regulatory changes could change firms' willingness to accept [work-from home] arrangements.
The paper's authors are from University College London, University of Chicago and London School of Economics.