And even among the well-paid, white, knowledge-economy workers that make up the majority of teleworkers, the only people who could truly become digital nomads – who maybe live in a far-flung locale and then come into the office once or twice a quarter – are senior-level executives, explains Susan Lund, a partner at Washington, DC-based McKinsey & Company who researches labour, economic development and remote work.

Companies will be more willing to accommodate the powerful, high-earning top brass, she says. That may depend on the situation, though – Litchfield and Woldoff say they interviewed more junior workers for their book who were surprised to get retention offers from their bosses when they said they’d quit if they couldn’t work remotely long term.

Still, digital nomadism aside, Lund says that based on McKinsey research, “60-70% of the workforce has zero opportunity” to work remotely at all. Most people are…

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