12 Remote Work Statistics to Understand Our Changing World

Updated June 27, 2023 by Axel Grubba

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The rise of remote work was a direct result of the pandemic and has now become an essential framework for many businesses. Although some traditional brick-and-mortar offices took time to adopt it, they are now eagerly embracing the advantages of increased cost savings, productivity, and overall remote work satisfaction.

Amid this transformative shift, it's essential to delve deeper into the world of remote work so you can leverage on the potential of remote work for your business. In this article, Remotely has gathered 12 crucial insights on remote statistics, ensuring you stay informed.

6 Different Remote Work Models

Before we dive into the data, it is crucial to establish a foundation of understanding regarding different remote work models. By doing so, you can approach the forthcoming insights with better clarity, enabling you to draw meaningful conclusions that can that align with your specific goals, culture, and operational requirements.

There are six different remote work models and understanding the implications of each empowers organizations to tailor their remote work strategies, optimize productivity, foster collaboration, and enhance overall employee satisfaction within your organization. 

Type Definition Pros Cons
Remote-first Everyone including the CEO can work 100% remotely. The talent pool expands with no geographic limitations. More effort is required to maintain company culture.
Remote-friendly Employees are expected to be in the office, but working remotely is an option. Job-seekers are attracted to remote work options. Appropriate tech and practices are required to maintain security.
Remote by role A job that allows the employees to work without needing to be in the office. It may apply to an individual or team based on their experience level, job function, or geographic location. People can be hired outside expensive cities so that they can save on salaries. On-site employees may feel remote employees have an unfair advantage.
Remote by day Employees are given a dedicated day(s) to work remotely. May support employee retention. No overhead savings.
Remote for now Employees may need to work remotely before transitioning to working from the office. It helps to maintain business operations through disruption. Transitioning entire operations and the workforce to the office takes thorough planning.

Understanding the intersection of remote work models and the data-driven insights we’re about to discuss can help organizations can stay ahead of the curve, harness the benefits of remote work, and navigate the challenges effectively. 

12 Remote Work Statistics

1. 90% of U.S. employees say they work at the same or have a higher productivity level at home compared to the office

According to the State of remote work, 2021 report by Owl Labs, both companies and employees have a lot to gain from shifting to a remote work setup.

Remote work offers a chance to enhance productivity, with employees performing just as well or even better outside traditional office settings. This opens opportunities for companies to streamline operations, optimize resource allocation, and reduce costs associated with large office spaces. Embracing remote work also widens the talent pool, giving companies access to skilled professionals regardless of geographical limitations.

For employees, working remotely allows for increased flexibility and improved work-life balance, without sacrificing productivity. It eliminates commuting time and costs, freeing up valuable hours and reducing stress. Remote work environments also typically provide fewer distractions, enabling employees to focus better and enhance overall well-being.

2. 55% believe their industry can succeed when people work remotely

55% of LinkedIn members believe their industry can thrive with remote work, according to the LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index. In digital sectors like software and finance, 75% see remote work and effective operations as interconnected.

This reflects a shifting perception towards remote work across industries, driven by the pandemic. It highlights the reliance on technology and the potential for benefits like talent acquisition and cost savings. Remote work is increasingly recognized as compatible with successful operations, reshaping work dynamics, especially in digital sectors.

3. Two-thirds of businesses are investing in web conferencing software

In 2021, TrustRadius investigated how the pandemic has changed B2B spending by surveying technology buyers and vendors. It revealed that 64% of businesses have mostly increased spending on web conferencing software. Additionally, just over half spent more on collaboration and project management tools.

Source: TrustRadius

The investment in web conferencing software can be attributed to several key factors. Firstly, it addresses the practical need for remote collaboration, enabling teams to connect and communicate seamlessly despite physical distance. Web conferencing tools facilitate real-time interactions, virtual meetings, and screen sharing, replicating the benefits of face-to-face meetings in a digital environment.

Secondly, the investment aligns with the broader shift towards digital transformation and the digitization of business operations. As companies embrace remote work and hybrid work models, the reliance on web conferencing software becomes crucial for sustaining operations and enabling efficient collaboration across geographically dispersed teams.

It also puts a lot of focus on the importance of finding the right tools that will facilitate support seamless communication, file sharing, task management, and project tracking.

4. 52% of remote workers say flexible scheduling is the most popular reason to work from home

The 2020 Remote Work Report examined the key motivators for distributed working and collected opinions from 3,000 remote workers. Out of 9 benefits, flexible working was the most popular, followed by a lack of commuting at 38%. Other key takeaways published in this report included the opportunity to focus more on family life, and people with disabilities or chronic illnesses had the option to work remotely.

Source: GitLab

Flexible scheduling emerges as an important factor for remote workers, reflecting the desire for autonomy and the ability to design their workday according to their individual needs and preferences. This flexibility allows remote workers to strike a better balance between their professional and personal lives, accommodating family responsibilities, personal commitments, and personal well-being. It empowers individuals to create a work routine that optimizes their productivity and enhances their overall satisfaction.

Additionally, the statistic emphasizes the value of eliminating commuting as another key benefit of remote work. By working from home, remote workers can save time and reduce the stress associated with daily commuting, allowing them to allocate that time for more productive or leisure activities. This reduction in commuting also has environmental benefits, such as reducing carbon emissions and traffic congestion.

The statistic also highlights the positive impact of remote work on specific groups, such as individuals with disabilities or chronic illnesses. Remote work provides them with the opportunity to overcome potential barriers in traditional office settings and access employment opportunities. It promotes inclusivity and diversity by offering a more accessible work environment that accommodates diverse needs and circumstances.

5. Unplugging and loneliness are primary struggles of remote work

This statistic holds significant importance in understanding the challenges of remote work. The Buffer report, based on a survey of 2,000 remote workers worldwide, highlights two primary struggles faced by remote workers: unplugging from work and feelings of loneliness. 

The findings reveal that 25% of respondents grapple with difficulties in disconnecting from work, indicating the blurred boundaries between work and personal life in a remote setup. Additionally, 24% experience feelings of loneliness, as remote work lacks the in-person social interactions of a traditional office setting. These challenges can have a profound impact on mental well-being, work-life balance, and overall job satisfaction. Recognizing these common struggles enables organizations and individuals to implement strategies to address them effectively, such as establishing clear boundaries, fostering virtual social connections, and promoting self-care practices.

Source: Buffer

6. 61% of U.S. workers would accept a pay cut to be able to WFH

Company background check company GoodHire surveyed 3,5000 American workers and found 61% would be willing to give up some of their income to work remotely.

Comparably, 64% of respondents feel employers who don’t offer remote working options must increase the salaries provided to attract interest.

This statistic underscores the growing desire for flexibility and work-life balance, with remote work being perceived as a valuable trade-off for monetary compensation. Employers can leverage this insight to adapt their policies and explore remote work opportunities as a means to attract and retain talented professionals.

7. By 2025, 36.2 million Americans will work remotely

This statistic is crucial in understanding the trajectory of remote work. The survey conducted by Upwork, involving 1,000 hiring managers, reveals that by 2025, a significant shift is expected, with 36.2 million Americans projected to work remotely. This figure represents an increase of 16.8 million people compared to pre-pandemic rates.

The statistic also highlights the evolving perception of remote work among hiring managers, with 68% of respondents noting that remote working arrangements now run more smoothly compared to the early stages of the pandemic. Additionally, the report suggests that freelancers and independent professionals are more comfortable with remote work.

Understanding this statistic is crucial for both employers and employees, as it emphasizes the enduring impact of the pandemic on work structures and the continued prevalence of remote work. It underscores the need for organizations to adapt their policies, technology infrastructure, and management practices to accommodate and optimize remote work arrangements in the long term.

8. 82% of company leaders plan to allow employees to work remotely sometimes post-pandemic

The survey conducted by Gartner, involving 127 company leaders and professionals, highlights that 82% of respondents plan to embrace a hybrid remote working arrangement as employees return to the office.

This finding underscores the recognition among company leaders that remote work has become a viable and desirable option for many employees. It signifies a departure from the traditional office-centric approach and a move towards a more flexible work environment.

Understanding this statistic indicates a growing acceptance of remote work as a long-term strategy. It reflects the need for businesses to adapt their policies, infrastructure, and managerial practices to support and optimize hybrid work models. By embracing this shift, companies can enhance employee satisfaction, attract top talent, and foster a more resilient and agile organization in the post-pandemic era.

9. Remote workers with communicative employers are 5x as productive and 3x less likely to burnout

McKinsey reported this insight in a post-pandemic report. Communicative employers helped reduce anxiety when employees were getting used to the new remote working setup. When home workers received regular updates from employers, it made them feel more involved and decreased anxiety. Employees who were not kept informed were almost 3 times more prone to burnout.

In a remote-first or hybrid setup some years after the pandemic, employers kept remote workers in the loop through actions like:

  • Prioritizing communication with regular meetings and FaceTime chats. Planned and unplanned.
  • Using practical communication tools.
  • Encouraging office culture through impromptu gamification for team building, for example.
  • Ensuring employees are well-equipped to perform their roles remotely.
  • Avoiding micromanagement.

10. 85% of Americans prefer to apply to jobs with remote work options

This statistic was revealed through a survey conducted by GoodHire. The fact is, people are embracing flexible working arrangements and want the option to work remotely. However, 15% still prefer full-time work in the office, and common reasons include:

● Accommodates more accessible communication and reading non-verbal cues

● It’s easier to collaborate and bounce ideas off each other

● It connects people more

● It influences office culture

● Eradicates feelings of isolation

● It helps keep work and home life separate

● It guarantees workplace standards and protocols

The report also found that 74% of employees would want the option to work from home permanently to stay in their current job.

11. 30% of employees now work at remote-first companies

Source: Statista

● 43% of respondents said part of their team works remotely full-time, and the other part work from the same office.

● 15% answered that at their company, employees are permitted to work remotely on some days per week or month.

● 3% said they are a solopreneur or freelancer and work remotely.

This highlights the workforce’s growing preference for remote work setups.

 12. 74% of employees say remote work makes them happier

Research by Owl Labs and Global Workplace found 74% of employees felt happier working remotely. Reasons included more flexibility, no commute, and more family time.

Their survey also found that 50% of employees would happily accept a pay cut to keep working remotely.

Harnessing Remote Work Statistics

Understanding remote work statistics has become a fundamental tool for entrepreneurs and leaders seeking to optimize their operations. By delving into the data and gaining valuable insights, businesses can make informed decisions, streamline processes, and unlock a multitude of benefits for their companies. Let’s start by understanding the key benefits of remote work.

What are the benefits of remote work?

Greater flexibility 

Remote working allows employers and employees to modify their work hours around their lifestyles to achieve a better work-life balance.

Reduced staff turnover 

When people can fit more of what they like to do into their daily schedule, they are happier, feel their employer cares more about their well-being, and show more loyalty to their organizations.

Saves money 

By adopting remote work, businesses can save a substantial amount of money through significant reductions, and in some cases, complete elimination, of overhead costs typically associated with renting large office spaces and commuting to and from the workplace.

However, remote work does come with its share of challenges, including:

Longer working hours and blurred work-life boundaries

Without the commute and office-related activities such as lunch breaks and water-cooler conversations, remote workers often find themselves having longer working days. The lines between personal and professional life become blurred, making it challenging to establish clear boundaries. Some individuals may struggle to disconnect after the designated work hours or find themselves working on weekends.

Isolation and lack of in-person interaction

Working from home can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation as individuals miss out on in-person interactions with colleagues. The camaraderie and team spirit from face-to-face interactions may be lacking in the virtual environment. To mitigate this, many businesses organize colleague meet-ups or social gatherings to foster a sense of connection and alleviate the sense of isolation.

Remote work is the secret to a happier working life

Statistics like the 12 presented in this post shatter the stigma attached to remote working. They prove that remote workers are more productive than office staff, have less stress, spend less due to a lack of commute, and have more family time. Employers can save money, have happier employees, and access a global talent pool.

Remote work in some form has become the standard for many businesses, and top-notch software helps operations run smoothly.