Remote Work Statistics: A Glance at the New Normal

Ivana Vojinovic Image
Updated:

May 13,2022

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The number of people working remotely was on the rise even before the pandemic hit in 2020. The worldwide lockdowns accelerated the process, and since then, the working landscape has been permanently altered. Today’s remote work statistics show that many employers have embraced the benefits of a permanently remote workforce. And even though some businesses still view it as unorthodox or a temporary fixture, the available data tells us that remote work is here to stay.

In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the numbers on how many people work from home, the lifestyle changes, productivity rates, and earnings.

Top Remote Working Statistics (Editor’s Choice)
16% of companies globally are fully remote.
An average person saves $4,000 a year by working from home.
An estimated 14% of remote workers attended at least 11 meetings per week.

21% of workers are willing to give up vacation time for flexible work options.

12% of remote workers spent over $1,000 on home offices in 2020.
50% of employees working remotely feel lonely at least once a week.

Telecommuting in the US increased by 115% between 2005 and 2015.

The number of fully remote workers increased by over four times between 2018 to 2021.

General Remote Work Stats

16% of companies globally are fully remote. 

(Owl Labs) 

A study conducted by Owl Labs found that 16% of companies across the globe are now fully remote, while 44% do not allow any form of remote work. In the United States, more than 4.7 million people work remotely at least half the time. 

78% of remote workers say they are highly engaged in their work.

(Quantum Workplace)

A recent survey from the cloud-based human resources solution Quantum Workplace reveals that employee engagement levels don’t suffer due to remote and hybrid work. In fact, the percentage of remote employees who said they were highly engaged in their work (78%) was higher than the percentage of engaged on-site employees (72%).

32.2% of managers report an increase in productivity following the 2020 shift to remote work.

(Zippia)

Some of the most recent stats on people working from home highlight the satisfaction among managers with their remote workforce. The data also shows that 68% of enterprises witnessed a spike in productivity among their staff since the onset of the pandemic.

56% of the US workforce could work remotely. 

(Global Workplace Analytics)

The research-based consulting firm Global Workplace Analytics recently analyzed the number of jobs that are compatible with remote work and found that more than half of America’s 75 million employees could do their job from home. These are jobs that do not require personal contact with customers or physical on-site work. The jobs have clear parameters for evaluation and an information component.   

Office space utilization data shows that employees weren’t at their desks 50-60% of the time even before the pandemic.

(Global Workplace Analytics)

Prior to the pandemic and the mass gathering of data on remote workers, statistics show that employees spent a lot of time away from their desks. This shows that office space is becoming obsolete and that employees don’t need to be physically present in the office to deliver results.

69% of employees in the US worked remotely at the peak of the pandemic.

(Global Workplace Analytics)

A  joint survey by Global Workplace Analytics and Owl Labs compiled a list of interesting remote work stats in 2020. The findings are based on responses from full-time office workers, most of whom went fully remote when the world got hit by an unprecedented health crisis.

65% of workers say they are more productive at home than in a traditional office space.

(FlexJobs) 

These findings are based on responses from more than 3,000 workers of different ages and career levels. Among those, 6% say they go to libraries, coffee shops, and/or coworking spaces, while 49% prefer to remain at home when working. Working from home stats suggest that the higher productivity levels among remote workers can be attributed to fewer distractions and interruptions from colleagues, as well as comfortable clothes, more personalized workstations, and little or no commute stress.

42% of American workers would leave a job for a more flexible work ​​environment.

(Yoh)

Flexible work arrangements, including remote work, have become very important factors for Americans weighing the pros and cons of accepting a job offer. Remote working statistics show that the increased level of flexibility delivered a range of benefits for many employees, who said they felt healthier and happier.

21% of workers say they are willing to give up vacation time for flexible work options.

(FlexJobs) 

Employees are willing to make certain sacrifices if they are given the flexibility to work from home. One of those sacrifices includes giving up vacation time. Meanwhile, 16% of workers are even willing to give up retirement contributions by the employer. This can be a win-win situation as the employer gets to save money. With more companies embracing these remote work trends, we expect a complete transformation of the work landscape in the not-too-distant future.

The shift to remote work temporarily reduced carbon emissions by 17%. 

(Harvard Business Review) 

As lockdowns went into effect throughout the world in the first part of 2020, production, consumption, and mobility were all dramatically reduced. As a result, global CO2 emissions dropped by 17% in April that year. However, in more recent months, that trend has been reversed despite the fact that some employees haven’t returned to their pre-pandemic routines. Statistics about remote work show that the environmental impact of working from home is ultimately determined by individual circumstances and characteristics.

45% of remote workers would rather have a hybrid arrangement.

(Zippia)

Unlike the 6% that would rather work full time from the office, 45% of remote workers prefer a healthy balance between remote and in-office work. This may be the ideal solution for those who don’t like the idea of being confined to the same working environment for too long.

68% of remote workers do not think working remotely impacts career trajectory

(EmailAnalytics) 

According to a more conventional point of view, employees need to be in the office to advance in their careers. But remote work statistics show that many employees aren’t worried about their career trajectory. More than half the remote workers who took part in a recent survey believe that their efforts will deliver the same results regardless of whether they’re coming into the office or not.

35% of remote workers are parents, guardians, or caregivers.

(Buffer)

Remote work is especially beneficial to those with dependents. This working arrangement reduces their childcare costs and enables them to spend more time with their children. In fact, many of the parents and caregivers surveyed said they chose remote work because of their children.

Remote Workers Statistics Before the Pandemic

47% of employees had never worked remotely before the pandemic.

(Statista)

The remote workforce was a lot smaller before the pandemic. Only 17% of US employees worked from home five days or more per week. However, it quickly became evident that this work model doesn’t impede productivity and offers a range of benefits to both employers and employees. 

5.7 million employees in the US telecommuted before the pandemic.

(Global Workplace Analytics)

A 2019 analysis of American Community Service or ACS data offers some valuable info for working from home stats. That year, 4.1% of the US workforce is thought to have worked from home either part-time or more often.

39% of employees worked remotely in some capacity as far back as 2012.

(Gallup)

Gallup data shows that a sizable percentage of employees worked away from their coworkers in some capacity more than a decade ago. By 2016, that number increased by 4%, with little or no signs of a decline in productivity. 

Statistics on Remote Work: Post Pandemic

97% of people working remotely would recommend remote work to others.

(EmailAnalytics)

Many remote workers are genuinely satisfied with their working arrangement and see it as a privilege that others should enjoy. The overwhelming majority of remote workers say they would recommend the model to their peers.

The number of fully remote workers increased by over four times between 2018 to 2021.

(Zippia) 

Remote work statistics show that 26.7% of employees are now fully remote. This marks a significant increase from the 6% in 2018. Of the 26.7%, 35% are women, 38% are college graduates, and 17% don’t have a college degree.

25% of all jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022.

(Ladders)

Although a lot of companies are insisting their employees return to the office, some of the most recent studies suggest there will be no shortage of remote work opportunities into 2023. Remote work survey statistics reveal that 15% of all high-paying job listings in North America during the third quarter of 2021 were remote.

81% of employees expect to continue receiving support to work remotely from their employers. 

(Zippia)

As more employees get a taste of remote work, demand for such jobs is high. Even those who never worked from home prior to the pandemic now wish to make this a more permanent fixture.

18% of executives spend more time working remotely than in the office.

(EmailAnalytics)

Executives have also started adopting a more hybrid or fully remote working model. These remote work trends aren’t all that surprising, given that some businesses are now fully remote.

97% of organizations changed cybersecurity policies to support remote work.

(Cisco)

According to Cisco, the shift to remote work had a significant impact on cybersecurity policies. To grant remote workers access to files from private computers and internet connections, these policies had to be altered.

59% of businesses have employees scattered across two to five different time zones.

(Buffer) 

Most remote workers are part of teams that span multiple time zones. This is due to more companies being open to hiring employees from around the globe since distance is no longer a barrier to effective work and communication.

Remote Workforce Statistics: Income and Expenses

12% of remote workers spent over $1,000 on home offices in 2020.

(FlexJobs) 

At the height of the pandemic, most remote workers had to set up a dedicated home office space. They needed comfortable and mentally stimulating environments for work. 42% of those surveyed spent between $100 and $500, while 12% invested over $1,000 to set up home offices.

Developers who work remotely make 40% more than their colleagues who always come to the office.

(Business Insider)

These statistics about remote work are based on interviews with more than 26,000 developers from 157 countries. Some of the factors that influence their earnings include the technology they are using and their location.

80% of employees working remotely pay for their internet.

(EmailAnalytics)

Remote work from home statistics reveal that some businesses go the extra mile and offer their employees compensation for the costs associated with working remotely. This includes internet costs. However, the majority of employers don’t cover these expenses.

75% of remote workers earn over $65,000 annually.

(Global Workplace Analytics)

These figures are based on an analysis of ACS data and show that remote workers are in the upper 80th percentile of all employees when it comes to salaries. That said, stats on working from home show there are many sectors where remote workers earn less than their peers who work from offices.

An average person saves $4,000 by working from home.

(FlexJobs)

Some of the more common myths about remote jobs are that they pay less, and most remote workers have to take pay cuts to enjoy the flexibility afforded by these jobs. But this simply isn’t the case, and remote workers are actually saving more money at the end of the year than their counterparts in the office. This is made possible by eliminating commuting, gas, and car maintenance costs and not spending money on food away from home, which can quickly add up.  

38% of workers are saving an estimated $5,000 a year by working remotely.

(FlexJobs)

The ability to reduce costs is listed as one of the two main benefits of working remotely. The other is not having to commute to work. Among the respondents from a 2021 survey, one in five say they are saving as much as $200 per week or $10,000 a year. Work from home statistics show that remote workers save on everything from skipping takeout lunches to dry cleaning work clothes. 

55% of workers put in more hours when they work remotely. 

(Owl Labs)

Statistics on remote work reveal that more than half of the 10,000 respondents who took part in a recent study examining how US employees feel about remote and hybrid work actually work more hours than at the office.

61% of American workers are willing to take a pay cut to stay remote.

(GoodHire)

Some workers dread the idea of going back to the office and are willing to take a 50% pay cut to maintain their remote working status. In a lot of cases, reservations about returning to the office have nothing to do with the risk of contracting COVID-19. Remote workers simply feel that they have more flexibility during their workday.

Remote WorkStatistics 2022: Lifestyle Impact

21% of millennials switched jobs in search of companies that share their environmental values.

(Gallup)

According to a Gallup, 67% of workers aged 18-29 and 49% of those aged 30-49 believe global warming is man-made and a real threat. As such, a growing number of workers are exploring ways to reduce the amount of time spent commuting to and from work while keeping an eye on their company’s carbon footprint. Businesses trying to attract younger workers are increasingly adopting environmentally friendly policies, including remote work.

For 41% of remote workers, the biggest change in their work concerns collaboration and communication with peers.

(Buffer)

Not being in the same place as their colleagues is one of the major challenges remote workers face. Many find it easier to communicate in person than over Zoom calls and emails, according to stats on people working from home.

53% of stay-at-home moms accept jobs with flexible work schedules. 

(Gallup)

We know that more women are delving into the tech space; for most, it is because of the flexibility that comes with roles in the tech industry. While some women aspire to become CEOs, others would rather stay at home to take care of their children. For most stay-at-home mothers, flexible working hours play a major role in their ability to take a job. Before the pandemic, only one-third of working mothers said they were able to work from home when they needed to.

53% of workers look for a good work-life balance when considering job offers.

(Gallup) 

Younger workers aren’t willing to sacrifice their entire lives for work and look for jobs that they feel benefit their personal wellbeing. Remote work trends suggest that this is also one of the reasons why some workers enjoy the flexibility of not having to come into the office every day.

40% of remote workers struggle to unplug after a workday.

(Zippia)

According to remote work statistics, some employees who don’t come to the office have a tough time ending their workday. Naturally, this translates into a longer workweek, and some have even said that they face bigger workloads than before the pandemic. 

50% of employees working remotely feel lonely at least once a week.

(Zippia)

Loneliness is a major problem among remote workers.  In fact, remote work isolation statistics reveal other alarming components. Nearly 20% of remote workers said isolation is the biggest downside of not coming to the office, while the majority feel they are being left out of work-related activities.   

There has been a 23% increase in the number of women working remotely since 2020.

(Zippia)

The number of women working remotely has grown since 2020. The 23% increase among women is higher than the 16% among men. 80% of these women consider remote work to be the most important job benefit. Only 69% of the men feel the same way.

Telecommuting Statistics

The number of remote workers in the US grew by 115% between 2005 and 2015.

(FlexJobs) 

This increase in telecommuting accounts for 3.9 million employees or 2.9% of the total workforce in the US. Of course, remote work adoption rate statistics show that since the start of the pandemic, those numbers have grown at an accelerated rate.

An estimated 14% of remote workers attended at least 11 meetings per week.

(Statista) 

Only 3% of their peers who work out of offices attended that many meetings per week. Thanks to video conferencing tools, it is now easier to have meetings virtually.

About 31% of remote workers do not see the need to hear from their bosses or managers every day.

(Blogging Wizard) 

Stats on working from home show that some managers are concerned about reduced communications with employees when incorporating a remote or hybrid model. A lot of employees don’t share those concerns. 31% of remote workers think speaking to their managers just a few times per week is sufficient. 27% think that speaking only once a week is sufficient, while 22% prefer to speak to their bosses less than once per week.

In March 2020, daily traffic to the Zoom.us download page increased by 535%.  

(The Guardian)

The video-conferencing platform Zoom became one of the most important features in our daily lives as millions switched to remote work in the early days of the pandemic. It was used by both high profile figures and ordinary employees who needed to stay in touch with their coworkers.

Only 65% of remote workers in the US have fast enough internet capacity for video calls.

(Stanford News)

Telecommuting stats reveal that one major challenge of working remotely is poor internet connectivity. When it comes to video calls, a poor internet connection can be especially frustrating. This problem is prevalent in developing countries, but remote workers in the US have also been affected.

FAQ
Is remote work less effective?

The short answer to this question is no. Multiple surveys since the start of the pandemic in 2020 found that many employees are more productive while working from the comfort of their homes.

Remote work statistics suggest that these comfortable environments, devoid of pressure and distractions, are important contributors to the higher level of productivity. The flexibility that working remotely offers also helps to minimize stress and work burnout. As such, it’s not surprising that a growing number of businesses and companies are incorporating models and structures for remote work. 

What percentage of employees are remote?

According to remote work statistics, more than 26% of employees in the US work remotely. It is also important to note that 16% of companies globally are fully remote, and the numbers look set to increase further. According to some forecasts, 25% of all jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022.

 

What are the pros and cons of remote working?

Remote work offers a range of benefits for both employers and employees. For the latter,  not having to come into the office enables them to save on transportation and takeout food while offering more flexibility in many areas of their lives. Employers can use this model to broaden the talent pool and cut down on office-related expenses. On the other hand, some of the most common downsides include isolation and a lack of communication.  

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