When the lights went out in workplaces worldwide in 2020, no one anticipated the dramatic impact on how we work. However, there’s no doubt remote work is here to stay. What started as an emergency measure during the COVID-19 pandemic has become mainstream. Three years down the track, fully remote and hybrid work is standard practice.
If you want to understand remote work trends, you have landed on the right page. We have crunched the numbers and pulled together the latest data. Our comprehensive selection of key remote work statistics will help you get a handle on what’s important.
Remote Jobs: The Current State Of Play
According to the latest data, 8 in 10 employees work remotely or in hybrid work models. Moreover, workers report they love remote work and a better work-life balance. So much so that the majority would leave their current job if required to work fully onsite.
Who Works Remotely?
Thanks to technology, the number and variety of remote jobs have exploded. And it’s not just computer and mathematical occupations. Increasingly, professionals expect remote work opportunities. The likes of lawyers, education, and healthcare professionals are swelling the ranks of remote workers. There are now a wealth of career opportunities for job seekers who want a better work-life balance.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Remote Work Arrangements
Benefits For Remote Workers
When it comes to advantages, there are plenty of pluses for remote workers. Top of the list is better work-life balance. Less time spent commuting means more time for friends, family, and leisure interests. And unlike in-office employees, fully remote ones spend less money. No more deli-bought lunches and laundry expenses, not to mention gas or transport costs. Furthermore, remote work employees report feeling less stressed and have a renewed energy for their jobs. No doubt, avoiding office politics also plays a part!
Disadvantages For Remote Workers
While some global workers report improvements in their mental health, others have a different experience. Loneliness and isolation can combine to impact their mental health negatively. Many fully remote staff find it hard to resist the lure of housework or Netflix. For them, more distractions make it hard to stay focused, impacting employee productivity. And when the lines between home and work are blurred, switching off at night is more challenging.
Benefits For Companies
It’s not just staff that stand to gain. There’s also plenty for company leaders to love. Fully remote and hybrid workers are good news for businesses, from increased productivity and reduced overheads to savings on office equipment. And with a better work-life balance, fewer employees suffer from burnout and mental health issues. It also means the talent pool is widened as companies are now unrestricted by location.
Furthermore, taking more commuters off the roads reduces greenhouse gas emissions, making it a win-win for everyone.
Disadvantages For Companies
Communication, collaboration, and managing off-site workers are more complex than in-office counterparts. However, effective company leaders plan to mitigate potential issues with robust processes, procedures, and tools.
How To Be Successful With Remote Work
Get The Right Tech Stack
It all starts with technology. A remote employee needs the right digital tools to communicate, collaborate, and get stuff done. Must-haves include business IM, cloud storage, video conferencing apps, and online collaboration tools.
Home Office Setup
Also, it’s essential to have a home office space. If a physical office isn’t an option, then the next best thing is a quiet corner or a co-working arrangement. However, many staff prefer to take their laptops to a favorite café or even the beach. And who can blame them?
Manage Time And Productivity
Routine is vital for effective flexible work. Setting hours, regular breaks, to-do lists, and check-ins with colleagues will increase worker productivity and time management. While fresh air, exercise, and maintaining social relationships will help remote employees manage their mental health.
Remote Work Trends Statistics
This section of stats confirms how mainstream remote work has become. Even though the worst of the pandemic has now passed, most organizations continue to embrace flexible work. A wholesale return to the office seems unlikely as employers and employees recognize the benefits.
- According to a study conducted by Upwork, nearly half (45%) of employers say they will continue offering remote work options beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 15% beforehand (Upwork).
- Another survey revealed that 54% of employers plan to increase their telecommuting workforce over the next three years (Gartner).
- According to FlexJobs, there was an 82% increase in job postings for remote positions between 2018 and 2020 (FlexJobs).
- Global Workplace Analytics reports that 56% of employees surveyed would like to continue remote work after the pandemic ends (GWA).
- A separate study showed that 95% of executives are interested in allowing some form of remote work within their organizations (Deloitte).
- A Gallup poll found that 64% of Americans would prefer if their current job allowed them to work from home some or all days (Gallup).
- A survey conducted by Owl Labs revealed that 73% of US workers believe flexible hours should be available at all times (Owl Labs).
- A report by Buffer found that 70% of managers believe remote teams are just as productive as on-site ones (Buffer).
- According to a recent survey by Future Workplace, 87% of HR professionals reported an increase in requests for flexible working arrangements over the past year (Future Workplace).
- Finally, a survey from TrustRadius found that 91% of companies have implemented or planned on implementing some kind of remote working policy in 2021 (TrustRadius).
As these stats demonstrate, and with 36.2 million Americans set to be fully remote by 2025, the future of remote work looks bright.
Remote Work by Country Statistics
Remote working is now a worldwide trend, as this selection of stats confirms. Furthermore, the hybrid work model, with a mix of work fully on-site and remote, has gained traction over the past few years.
- According to FlexJobs, in 2022, more than 80% of companies worldwide offered flexible work options (FlexJobs).
- A study conducted by Upwork showed that 70% of businesses would prefer to hire remote workers over traditional office workers (Upwork).
- Gallup’s Global Workplace Report revealed that in 2022, 44% of full-time workers had worked remotely for at least some part of their job (Gallup).
- In 2021, according to Statista, 78% of US workers reported working from home at least one day per week (Statista).
- A survey by Deloitte found that in 2021, 16% of US employees worked remotely five or more days a week (Deloitte).
- According to Global Workplace Analytics, in 2019, there were four million remote workers in the UK (GWA).
- WeConnect found that in 2021 43% of French employers allowed their staff to work remotely up to four days a week (WeConnect).
- In 2020, according to Statista, 30% of German employers reported having employees who work remotely at least half of their working hours (Statista).
- The same survey revealed that 24% of Italian employers had staff who worked remotely at least 50% or more often than not (Statista).
- Statista also noted that 21% of Spanish employers allowed members of their teams to regularly work outside the office up to five days a week (Statista).
These ten remote work statistics reveal just how popular this trend has become worldwide. Companies understand how beneficial having a hybrid on-site/remote workforce is when it comes to attracting top talent and creating a strong organizational culture.
Benefits Of Remote Work Statistics
We touched on the benefits earlier, but here are the stats to back it up. It’s clear the labor force values flexibility and improved work-life balance. And for organizations, the increased productivity, plus happier and healthier staff, make it a no-brainer.
- According to Global Workplace Analytics, since March 2020, 31% of employees in the US have worked remotely full-time – a 5x increase from before the COVID-19 pandemic (GWA).
- A survey conducted by Blind found that 74% of workers prefer to continue with remote work after COVID-19 ends (Blind).
- A study by Zoom found that 87% of employers felt more productive when remote working (Zoom).
- According to Owl Labs, 78% of people say flexible hours increase productivity (Owl Labs).
- Research by PGI shows that remote working employees report being happier than those who don’t (PGI).
- A survey by Owl Labs revealed that 68% of people feel less lonely when remote (Owl Labs).
- A report by FlexJobs found that 64% of employers offer better benefits when hiring remote workers (FlexJobs).
- According to Gallup, 52% of US workers would like to continue working from home after the pandemic ends (Gallup).
- Research by Harvard Business Review shows that 51% of millennials prefer flexible work arrangements over salary increases (HBR).
- A study by FlexJobs revealed that 77% of employees reported improved job satisfaction when given the option to work remotely (FlexJobs).
These stats confirm that a remote or hybrid work arrangement offers a ton of benefits for employees and employers. Enhanced job satisfaction and productivity mean it’s a win-win.
Remote Working And Remote Work Statistics
One undeniable remote work trend is employees love it! They feel happier, more creative, and satisfied than those in the office full-time.
- According to a Zoom survey, 83% of business decision-makers believe remote work has improved their company’s overall productivity (Zoom).
- A study by PwC found that 67% of employees say they can better balance their personal and professional lives when working from home (PwC).
- The same PwC study also found that 60% of employees feel more productive when working from home (PwC).
- According to Gartner, 94% of organizations intend to allow more flexible work hours in 2021, 2022, and 2023 (Gartner).
- A survey by Virgin Pulse revealed that 87% of respondents who worked remotely during the pandemic reported feeling less isolated than when in the office (Virgin Pulse).
- Another survey by Virgin Pulse found that 79% of respondents said they felt more inspired to be creative in a remote work environment than when they were in the office (Virgin Pulse).
- A Harvard Business Review report revealed that 70% of companies saw an increase in employee engagement since implementing a remote work policy (HBR).
- According to Adobe, 64% of companies report increased job satisfaction among their employees since transitioning to a remote workforce (Adobe).
- Gartner also found that 67% of organizations plan on permanently increasing the number of roles available for remote workers after the pandemic ends (Gartner).
- Finally, a survey by Upwork revealed that 55% of Americans would prefer if their company allowed them to continue to work remotely even after the pandemic ends (Upwork).
Now that the pandemic’s emergency measures have ended, businesses need to examine how they can satisfy workers’ clear preference for remote work.
Managing A Remote Team Tips
By now, every manager knows that leading a remote or hybrid team has its challenges. This selection of stats offers some insights and tips to help get it right.
- According to a survey by Thinkgosoft Solutions, 90% of employers believe communication is critical when managing remote workers (Thinkgosoft Solutions).
- A survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 66% of employers feel they have an effective process in place for onboarding and training new remote employees (SHRM).
- A survey commissioned by Microsoft revealed that 98% of respondents believe that communication among team members is essential for successful collaboration on projects (Microsoft).
- According to a survey by Workfront, 83% of employers have seen an increase in productivity since allowing employees to work remotely (Workfront).
- A 2021 survey by Gallup revealed that 90% of respondents reported feeling more connected with their colleagues while working from home than when working in an office setting (Gallup).
- The same Gallup survey found that only 41% of employers felt they had adequate access to the technology and tools necessary for successful remote work (Gallup).
- According to 2022 research by Buffer, 52% of employees said that taking regular breaks improved their remote work productivity (Buffer).
- Research conducted by Owl Labs in 2023 revealed that 79% of respondents reported feeling more satisfied with their job when allowed to work remotely (Owl Labs).
- A 2021 study by Harvard Business School found that 80% of those surveyed felt the most significant challenge associated with managing remote teams was providing clear and detailed instructions on tasks (HBS).
- In a survey conducted by Gartner in 2023, 75% of respondents reported feeling less stressed while working from home compared to traditional office settings (Gartner).
As the stats reveal, top tips for managing remote or hybrid teams include effective onboarding, good communication, and having the right digital tools.
Latest Statistics On Flexible Hybrid Work
For many organizations, hybrid working offers the best of both worlds. It satisfies workers’ preferences and lifestyles while also meeting operational demands. This selection provides insights into how businesses are responding.
- According to a survey by Gartner, 81% of organizations plan to allow employees to continue to work remotely, at least part-time, after the pandemic is over (Gartner).
- A survey by KPMG found that 60% of employers plan to offer a hybrid model with both in-office and remote work options after the pandemic is over (KPMG).
- A study by Upwork predicts that there will be 36 million remote workers in 2021, up from 29 million pre-pandemic (Upwork).
- A report by FlexJobs estimates that 82% of companies will have at least some remote employees in 2022 (FlexJobs).
- According to Mercer’s Global Talent Trends 2021 report, 44% of employers plan on increasing their flexible working policy once the pandemic is over (Mercer).
- A survey by Deloitte found that 78% of HR leaders believe flexible arrangements will become permanent after the pandemic is over (Deloitte).
- A report by Global Workplace Analytics suggests that 57% of companies across all sectors will offer some form of permanent teleworking option in 2023 (GWA).
- Research from Gallup shows that 33% of employees prefer to work remotely full-time, and 34% prefer a hybrid arrangement with both office and home-based days (Gallup).
- According to Microsoft’s Work Trend Index global report, 89% of workers believe they can be just as productive when working from home compared to working in an office environment (Microsoft).
- A survey by Owl Labs found that 86% say having access to workplace flexibility has increased their job satisfaction (Owl Labs).
A shift to hybrid working is the perfect solution for many, satisfying the needs of employers and employees.
COVID-19 Remote Work Statistics
This section details how remote work has changed in response to COVID-19. Organizations were forced to shut up shop in 2020. However, few have returned to the office full-time since restrictions eased.
- According to data from Buffer’s 2021 State of Remote Work report, 79% of companies plan to allow for permanent remote work post-COVID-19 (Buffer).
- 73% of respondents said their company’s remote work policy was more flexible than before 2020 (Buffer).
- A survey by The Harris Poll found that 50% of Americans would prefer a fully or partially remote job after the pandemic ends (The Harris Poll).
- A separate survey by FlexJobs revealed that 68% of employers believe they will have more flexible remote work policies post-pandemic (The Harris Poll).
- Global Workplace Analytics estimates that 25–30% of the US workforce worked remotely multiple days per week by the end of 2021 (GWA).
- A 2022 survey from Upwork found that 82% expect an increase in freelancing post-COVID (Upwork).
- GlobalData predicted that global spending on cloud computing would reach $753 billion by 2022 (GlobalData6).
- Gartner forecasts that two-thirds of organizations will adopt hybrid workplaces combining physical and virtual settings by 2023 (Gartner).
- A survey conducted by Robert Half revealed that 80% of CFOs expected their company’s use of contract workers to grow in 2022 (Robert Half).
- According to Deloitte’s Workforce Transformation Survey, over 40% of businesses planned to transition back into office spaces between late 2021 and mid-2022 (Deloitte).
The clear message from this section is that remote work options are here to stay.
Remote Work Effects On Company Culture Statistics
The following selection of stats demonstrates remote work’s impact on company culture. And it’s good news. Productivity, performance, and collaboration are improved. And employee engagement is boosted with an increase in morale.
- According to Microsoft’s 2020 Work Trend Index, 74% of employees said that working remotely has increased their ability to collaborate effectively (Microsoft).
- A survey by Zapier found that 79% of remote workers feel they can be just as productive when working remotely as in an office environment (Zapier).
- A report by Gallup showed that 31% of employees who have worked at least partially remotely since March 2020 believe they will continue to do so after the pandemic ends (Gallup).
- According to Global Workplace Analytics, 70% of employers say their team’s performance has improved since adopting remote work (GWA).
- The same report found that 64% of employers said employee engagement had improved since instituting a remote workflow (GWA).
- In its State of Remote Work Report 2021, Deloitte found that 43% of organizations surveyed believed their teams were better able to handle unexpected change when they adopted remote work policies (Deloitte).
- A 2021 study by Buffer revealed that 78% of respondents felt more connected with their team while working remotely than when they worked in an office setting (Buffer).
- Similarly, 76% said they felt more productive because of fewer distractions while working from home (Buffer).
- The study also showed that 75% said morale had improved since transitioning to remote work (Buffer).
- Lastly, according to a 2020 survey conducted by Owl Labs, 64% of respondents reported feeling less stressed and overwhelmed since transitioning from an office environment to a remote one (Owl Labs).
When it comes to company culture, the effects are wide-reaching and impactful, according to the statistics.
Remote Work Statistics Case Studies
Check out this section for a more in-depth look at how companies are responding. The following case studies examine the impact on customers, recruitment, retention, collaboration, and much more.
- Buffer (2018): This case study by Buffer shows that their team of 100+ people manages a successful product from 39 different countries with an average response time of four hours for customer support inquiries. It also demonstrates that customer satisfaction has improved since they switched to remote work, with an increase in Net Promoter Score from 40 to 50 in just six months.
- Automattic (2018): This study from Automattic found that 30% of their employees are more productive when working remotely and that 80% of all employees felt they were able to collaborate better with their teammates while working remotely.
- GitHub (2016): GitHub’s case study found that they saved $2 million annually by moving to remote work, including over $1 million in relocation costs alone. They also noted an improvement in employee recruitment and retention and improved collaboration between team members ln different parts of the world.
- Zapier (2015): Zapier’s study showed that their switch to remote work resulted in increased productivity and decreased expenses due to not having an office space or associated equipment costs. They also reported increased collaboration between team members due to better communication technologies available for remote workers compared to those available for traditional office workers at the time.
- Basecamp (2014): Basecamp’s case study concluded that having teams spread across different locations can actually help build stronger relationships between members. This is because it promotes better communication via video conferencing and other digital tools available for distributed teams. And it reduces travel costs associated with traditional offices.
- Trello (2013): Trello’s research revealed that 86% of their employees felt more productive when working remotely than when they were required to be in the office each day. And 74% reported feeling less stressed while working remotely than when they were commuting daily into the office environment.
- WordPress (2012): WordPress’ research showed that since moving their entire workforce online, there has been a significant reduction in overhead expenses, including rent payments associated with having physical offices around the world. The savings have allowed them to invest more resources into developing new products and services faster than ever before.
- Amazon Web Services (2011): According to AWS’ research on its own workforce, switching from traditional offices mostly populated by full-time employees into remote setups where most workers are freelancers or contractors has allowed them to provide services faster than ever before thanks to fewer bureaucratic processes associated with physical workplaces.
- Red Hat Inc. (2010): Red Hat’s case study demonstrated how implementing a hybrid model of both physical offices and remote settings was beneficial for its workforce. It resulted in increased collaboration among colleagues due to better communication technologies used by virtual teams combined with face-to-face meetings between those who worked at physical locations.
- German Telecom Company (2009): A German telecom company’s research found that having more than 70% of its workforce working remotely led to reduced overhead costs and decreased employee turnover by 25%. The company also noted an increase in employee satisfaction since implementing its distributed workplace model.
The Future Of Remote Work Prediction Statistics
So, what’s the future for remote work? The selection will help you understand the driving forces.
- According to a survey conducted by Gartner in late 2020, 84% of companies surveyed plan on making their recent shift to remote work permanent (Gartner).
- Furthermore, 25% of those companies stated that they would be making at least 5% of their workforce permanently remote. This trend is likely due to an increasing number of employees wanting flexible work arrangements to balance their personal and professional lives (Garner).
- A survey conducted by Upwork in 2021 revealed that 65% of hiring managers believed that remote work would become increasingly popular over the next decade (Upwork).
- This belief was echoed by 77% of workers who reported that they expected more job opportunities with flexible hours and locations available in the future (Upwork).
- Additionally, 56% of respondents reported that they wanted more flexible options than their current jobs provided (Upwork).
- Statista also released a report predicting that 43% of employed people worldwide were expected to be working remotely by 2028. This is an increase from just 3% in 2016 – an indicator that more employers will embrace telecommuting as a viable option for their employees as technology continues to improve and make collaboration easier (Statista).
Use these statistics to help your organization plan and prepare for the future.
Better Work-Life Balance
The ability to juggle personal demands is a top priority for today’s labor force. Check out this section to find out just how vital it is.
- According to research by Buffer, 83% of people believe that working remotely leads to a healthier work-life balance (Buffer).
- That same study also found that 75% of remote workers feel they can manage their workloads more effectively when working remotely, compared to only 58% of those who do not work remotely (Buffer).
- The Global Workplace Analytics website also has some compelling data about remote work. They report that 83% of employees would like to have the option to telecommute at least part of the time. And 76% would be willing to take a pay cut in exchange for flexible hours or the ability to telecommute full-time. In addition, they report that people who regularly telecommute are more productive than those who don’t, with an output increase of 13% (GWA).
- A 2018 study by Owl Labs found that two-thirds (66%) of employees said they would switch jobs if it meant they could work remotely full-time, while 87% of employers said they would offer more flexibility if it meant attracting better talent. According to this same study, when employees had the opportunity to switch from an office environment to a fully remote job, 73% reported feeling happier at their new job than they did while in the office environment (Owl Labs).
The data is compelling, which means companies must find ways to achieve a better work-life balance for staff.
Remote Work Statistics Takeaways
According to a study by Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs, there has been a 159% increase in remote workers since 2005. That’s a jump from 1.8 million employees in 2005 to 4.7 million employees in 2017. This trend is expected to continue, with a prediction that by 2028, 73% of all departments will have remote workers. In addition, according to a survey done by Upwork and Freelancers Union, 36% of Americans are freelancing and 70% of those freelancers did not plan on doing so before 2020.
Furthermore, according to an analysis conducted by LinkedIn, between February and April 2020 alone, job postings for remote positions increased by over 30%. This includes roles such as Software Engineers (up 33%), Data Scientists (up 38%), Product Managers (up 43%) and Business Analysts (up 47%). These numbers suggest that employers are increasingly looking towards hiring candidates who are open to working remotely or from home.
The statistics paint a clear picture, remote work is rising in popularity and is here to stay. Companies should now start making plans for how they can embrace new ways of working effectively and efficiently. And if they haven’t already done so, they should start considering how they can make their workforce more flexible by offering some form of remote work opportunities for their employees going forward.
All in all, these statistics indicate that the future of work will be significantly different from what it was pre-COVID-19. And it’s up to us as individuals and companies alike to adapt accordingly.