Remote Work Statistics Leaders Should Know in 2020

Remote work is here to stay. Here are 30 remote work statistics every leader should know as more teams transition to working from home.

Remote Work Statistics 2020

Change or get left behind?

Millions of people around the world report that they currently work remotely. While many companies have embraced the work from anywhere movement on a global scale, many others don’t know enough about how remote work would impact their employees, their teams, and their organizations to enable it.

The reality is, most jobs are compatible with the Work From Home (WFH) model even if the preference is for employees to come into the office. Often, it’s only when we’re forced to adapt that we do – and due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of businesses have been forced to adopt a remote-working style in order to keep their organizations operational. It takes some time to warm up to a different way of handling business. However, more often than not, when we’re forced to adapt, we realize that it’s not so bad after all.

As leaders, it is essential for the prosperity of your company for you to understand the current state of remote work, so that you can continue to thrive no matter the obstacles that arise.

These remote work statistics will provide you with some insights on how the WFH model promotes growth, productivity and contributes to the happiness of your employees. These statistics about remote work are important for you as managers, so you can continue to promote innovation and growth for your team. 

1 Setting the Scene: The Global Playing Field 🌎

The entire world is evolving towards integrating remote work possibilities for their employees. Several studies have been conducted and as a result, the following important global statistics about remote work have been published: 

  • 56% of employees have a job where at least some of what they do could be done remotely. (Global Workplace Analytics)
  • 68% of workers around the world worked remotely at least once a month. (Global Workplace Analytics)
  • 62% of workers feel more productive when working remotely. (Owl Labs, 2022)
  • 29% of companies are hybrid- offering both remote and in-office options. (Owl Labs, 2022)
  • 1 in 2 workers (52%) would take a pay cut of 5% or more to have flexibility in working location, with 23% saying they would take a pay cut of 10% or more. (Owl Labs, 2022)

Remote work practices vary around the world, although no matter their differences in approach, the volume of employees working remotely continues to rise steadily.

If you are an international or multinational company, offering a WFH option may be vital to your business strategy in terms of creating growth, improving employee productivity and supporting employees’ overall happiness. These global remote work statistics highlight how common it really is to work remotely, from anywhere in the world.

If you can’t provide the opportunity for your employees to WFH, it is likely that another organization can and will. 

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2 The Rise of Remote Work 📈

The following remote work statistics highlight the surge of remote work in the last few years. The rise of remote work in today’s climate is obvious, seeing as many companies have been forced to adapt to this model of operations through the COVID-19 pandemic.

These statistics about remote work are also proving that company growth is also possible and derivative of providing options for their employees to WFH. In adapting and innovating to new market trends, your organization is likely to remain an attractive employer and continue to see corporate growth.

Remote work seems to be a “change or get left behind” mentality in 2020. 

  • The amount of people who work remotely at least once per week has grown by 400% since 2010. (GetApp)
  • If they could, 99% of people would choose to work remotely, at least part-time, for the rest of their careers. (Buffer)
  • 95% of people would encourage their friends or family to work remotely. (Buffer)
  • The number of workers choosing to work remotely in 2022 increased 24% since 2021. And those choosing hybrid work went up 16%. Interest for in-office work, however, dropped by 24%. (Owl Labs, 2022)
  • If the ability to work from home was taken away, two-thirds (66%) of workers would immediately start looking for a job that offered flexibility, and 39% would simply quit. (Owl Labs, 2022)
  • Between 2017 and 2018, remote work increased by 22%. (FlexJobs)

The state of remote work is very clearly growing, as is the appetite of employees to stay home. There are many ways that you can use this shift in operations to grow as a team and as a company.

It is time for more companies around the world to be open to alternative ways of operating the business. When the majority of companies around the world are adopting these WFH practices, it may be harmful to the growth of your organization to opt-out.  

3 Remote Work and Productivity ⚡️

As a leader, you might find it difficult to believe that your employees will be able to stay productive while working from home. How will you know if your employees are actually working? The truth is, you won’t. With a WFH business approach, we are shifting towards being results-oriented, rather than laying down specific methodologies for an output.

Although you may not be quick to believe that employees are focused while working remotely, statistics about productivity at home prove otherwise:

  • The #1 reason that people choose to work from home is due to increased productivity or better focus. (Owl Labs, 2022)
  • 77% of remote workers say they are more productive when working remotely. (CoSo Cloud)
  • 76% of people prefer to avoid the office when they need to focus on a project. (Atlassian)
  • 53% of remote employees say they’re less likely to take time off than they would be if they worked in their physical office. (CoSo Cloud)
  • 43% of remote employees take three weeks or less of paid vacation per year. (Buffer)
  • 23% of remote workers say they work longer hours than they would on-site. (CoSo Cloud)
  • Those with highly complex jobs that require little interaction with stakeholders are more productive when remote than in an office. (Springer)

So long as you maintain regular and clear communications with your team, there is no reason that your team won’t succeed in conquering the tasks at hand.

These remote work statistics are proving that employees are able to find better focus and productivity while at home, more so than if they were to come into the office. Numbers don’t lie! 

4 Remote Employee Engagement 😊

Here are the reasons why employees choose to WFH, according to a study that Owl Labs conducted: 

  • Better Compensation (84%)
  • Better career opportunity (82%)
  • Better work/life balance (78%)

It’s clear that with an increased remote employee engagement and happy employees, they are much more likely to stay with the organization. Prioritizing the happiness of your employees and keeping them engaged is also going to attract and retain new talent.

The following remote work statistics reinforce the idea that you will remain an attractive employer in the job market and hold onto valuable talent, should you adopt a WFH approach to your team:

  • 83% of workers, remote or on-site, say that a remote work opportunity would make them feel happier at their job. (Hubspot)
  • Before the crisis, surveys repeatedly showed 80% of employees want to work from home at least some of the time. Over a third would take a pay cut in exchange for the option. (Global Workplace Analytics)
  • 76% of employees say that a remote work option would make them less likely to leave their company. (Owl Labs, 2022)
  • 72% of talent professionals agree that work flexibility (which includes remote work options) will be very important for the future of HR and recruiting. (LinkedIn)
  • 40% of people say that a flexible schedule would be the best perk of working remotely. (Gallup)
  • 35% of employees would change jobs for the opportunity to work remotely full time. (Global Workplace Analytics)

As managers, we all truly want what is best for our employees, especially when it comes to providing the most effective environment for our employees to succeed. Remote work brings a high likelihood for your group to be happy with their job and even more productive than they already are.

5 The Future of Remote Work 🚀

Although we can’t predict the future of remote work, we can predict statistics and identify trends… The way in which numbers continue to rise with regard to the normality and popularity of remote work is quite clear.

Global Workplace Analytics estimates that 25-30% of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.

It is very likely that the number of companies providing WFH opportunities will continue to increase, with the number of remote employees rising simultaneously.

As we begin to move towards a results-oriented mindset, we promote innovation and creativity amongst our employees and develop a strong sense of trust between one another.

Remote work pushes us as leaders to create effective communication channels with our employees and to be very clear with our instructions, expectations and guidance.

Remote work statistics have proved that the WFH approach continues to grow, but so do opportunities for actual company growth, higher productivity from your team and the happiness of your employees, which will result in less attrition and attract new talent.

If you feel as if a WFH business model may work for your team, why not give it a shot? Now is a perfect time, after all.

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About the author

Kate Dagher

Kate Dagher (Postgraduate H.Dip Psychology and BA in Business Management) has a management and corporate consulting background, having worked in the public sector, sales, and corporate finance. Kate is fascinated about how our physical environments influence our thoughts, behaviours, actions and wellbeing. She is a certified yoga teacher, a passionate writer, and traveller.

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