Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, telework was an employment benefit offered to relatively few workers in the U.S. According to a 2019 National Compensation Survey from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 7% of U.S. private industry workers and 4% of state and local workers are offered telework as a benefit from their employers.

Those that can utilize telework tend to be higher-wage earners and generally classified as “knowledge workers,” such as corporate executives, IT managers, financial analysts, lawyers, software designers, and those that do most of their work on computers. About a quarter of U.S. private-sector workers in the highest 10% of wage earners have access to teleworking options versus just 1% of workers in the lowest 25% of wage earners.

Source: Pew Research Center