Until 2019, the model of remote work was gaining popularity at a skeptical rate, with both employers and talents being unsure how it could work smoothly and efficiently in the long term. Come 2020, along with the global pandemic, a major part of the world was forced to work remotely. After initial hiccups and struggles, most have settled, accepted, and started appreciating this new world work order.
With an extensive range of tools and mediums to make the functioning of professionals seamless, this remote work phenomenon has become extremely popular. Even when the world recovers from the pandemic, the remote work culture is here to stay due to the many benefits to both employers and professionals.
Skuad recently conducted a survey asking professionals why they preferred the remote work model, and this is what we got:
- About 40% preferred working remotely because it gave them the flexibility to choose their working hours, helped them strike a healthy work-life balance
- 30% of the people voted for remote working because there is less stress, fewer distractions, no waste of time in commuting, all of these consequently promised increased productivity
- Another 27% still wanted to work from an office
- For 3%, it didn’t make any difference where they worked from
We also looked at the statistics available around the world around remote work. Here are some of the fascinating remote work statistics we came across that will put the soaring popularity of this new work trend and the reasons behind it in perspective.
Remote Work: Latest Global Trends
1. When the pandemic hit, 88% of organizations across the world asked their employees to work remotely.
According to a survey conducted by Gartner, 97% of the world's organizations canceled all work-related travel, and 88% of the global organizations either made it compulsory or encouraged their employees to work remotely.
2. Spend on web conferencing tools have increased in 2020
In a survey conducted by Statista in the first quarter of 2020, when the world was compelled to work remotely, 67% of the global organizations reported an increase in spending on video conferencing tools and software.
3. Remote work will continue to be a new world order post-COVID-19.
25% of the companies that participated in the survey conducted by Statista said they would move about 10% of their employees to permanent remote positions even after the world has recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. The remote work model has highlighted how much an organization can benefit and save from the remote work architecture.
4. By 2022, 42.5% of the global workforce will become a remote workforce.
According to a report by Strategic Analytics, by 2022, over 1.87 Bn people will be working remotely full-time, which will be about 42.5% of the world’s working population. By 2025, it's estimated that 70% of the world workforce will start working at least five days remotely in a month.
5. The remote Work market is growing at a substantial rate.
With the growing popularity of the telework model, more people are getting drawn towards it. In 2019, the remote work market was growing at a rate of 13% per annum. That percentage has undoubtedly shot up in 2020.
6. Home is where the work is
Although remote work allows you to work from anywhere on the planet, 84% of the remote workers prefer to work from home.
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7. Remote work opportunity means happy employees.
About 83% of workers, who either work remotely or on-site, agree that an opportunity to work remotely makes them happier, resulting in a higher job satisfaction quotient. 74% of employees agree that they are less likely to leave their companies if they are given an option to work remotely.
8. Over 80% of employees are likely to recommend their companies that have remote work options.
Nobody can be great and effective as an ambassador for your company's work culture other than your employees. About 81% of companies that give remote work options are likely to recommend them to talented candidates.
9. Corporates have started accepting and advocating elements of remote work culture
corporate employees and employers were among the strong advocates of on-site jobs with a strict schedule of 9-to-5 or 10-to-6. However, there is a rapid shift in the corporate mindscape. 84% of corporates have accepted that flexibility has become a permanent feature of the workspace.
10. Flexibility became a prominent feature in LinkedIn job posts.
Since 2016, the mention of the word 'flexibility' has increased by 78% on job posts on LinkedIn. In fact, there has been a 24% increase in the number of people who believe that flexible working hours are a crucial factor when applying for a job. Many recruiters and HR professionals believe that flexibility is no longer a perk but a prominent requisite for professionals. In fact, from 2013 to 2017 alone, the percentage of LinkedIn members who thought that flexible working hours were vital when considering a job went up from 25% to 31%.
Remote work = More Savings, More Comfort
11. 30% of remote employees save over $5,000 per annum without work commute and on-site work expenses
While on-site jobs might come with fat paychecks, they also result in work expenditure along with travel expenses. Not to forget another miscellaneous spending on various other on-site activities and necessities. So what remote workers lose in the compensation, they save from not having to make these expenditures. About 30% of the remote workers claim that they save over $5,000 every year without on-site work and travel expenses.
12. 69% of millennials willing to trade other perks for flexibility and remote work options
One of the most striking features of this remote work culture is the flexibility to choose your working hours. This eventually leads to a better work-life balance, which is more important than many other perks with regular jobs. As a result, 69% of the millennials are ready to give up benefits for flexible work options, including remote work.
13. Most workers do not want to take pay cuts in lieu of working remotely.
While workers do not hesitate in trading many on-site job perks for flexible and remote work models, they are not as accommodating when asked to take pay cuts. Less than 34% of the workers would take a pay-cut of 5% to work remotely full-time, while approximately 24% were ready to take a pay-cut of 10%. About 74% of remote workers earn less than $100,000 per annum.
14. Adopting the Remote Work Model means more savings on real estate for the employers.
In the United States, companies spend about approx. $18,400 per person, per workplace annually, whereas even the best remote companies spend more than $2000 per year. If we compute, the remote companies are $16,400 less per member per year. So, if a company has a strength of, say, 100 or 500 or 1000, it ends up saving $1.64Mn, $8.2Mn, and $16.4Mn annually.
15. In the US, cities with a high remote work population have higher incomes.
Processing data from the US Census Bureau, Pragli came up with a tool that has mapped remote work trends to the US population. According to this study, over half of the top 10 remote cities in the US have over $100k median income.
Performance of Remote Workers
16. In the next five years, 42% of remote workers plan to work remotely regularly.
This piece of statistics highlights how more workers are being drawn towards the remote work model. In the next five years, around 42% of remote workers in the United States want to work remotely more frequently than they do currently. We also see an emerging trend among on-site professionals. More than half of the on-site workers want to start working remotely full-time.
17. 91% of remote workers preferred remote work for better work-life balance
The top 5 reasons for workers to choose remote work are better work-life balance (91%), increased productivity (79%), avoid commuting (78%), less stress (78%), save money (76%).
18. 77% of remote employees feel more productive while working from home
Away from the many distractions, about 77% of remote employees feel their productivity increases when they are working remotely. About 76% of employees prefer to skip offices to work on projects that need complete focus.
19. 30% of remote workers accomplish more in less time
As stated above, over 75% of employees feel more productive while working remotely. 30% feel they do more in less time than what they take while working in the office.
20. 37% of remote workers feel their productivity increases when they take breaks
Health professionals recommend people with desk jobs take 5-10 minutes breaks after every hour to keep their postures correct, and backs fit. Suppose that isn't a good enough reason for the workaholics to take breaks between their work. In that case, they should pay heed to the advice from remote workers who feel their productivity and creativity increased when they take regular breaks during their work.
21. Fixed working hours help with increased productivity.
Many might find this piece of information by Airstaker a bit contradictory. While 'flexible working hours' is a prominent feature of the remote work model, 33% of the remote workers believe having fixed working hours help them stay more productive. Organizations like Best Buy, British Telecom, Dow Chemical, and many others show that remote workers are 35-40% more productive.
Remote work = Less Stress, Better Life
22. Remote Workers healthier than on-site workers in terms of exercise
According to a study by Airstaker, remote workers spent about 2 hours 44 minutes exercising during a week compared to 2 hours 19 minutes spent by office goers, which meant remote workers had more time to give to their fitness and health. In another study by the UK’s NHS, 41% of professionals accepted that they exercised or did any other kind of physical activity less because of the time they spent in commute.
23. Remote workers avail lesser sick leaves.
More than 50% of remote workers believe working from home reduces sick days. Many employees avail sick leaves not because they are unwell but also for personal works, lack of motivation, work-related stress, etc.
In another experiment conducted by Ctrip, a Chinese travel agency, it asked its customer care employees to volunteer to work from home and then randomly asked some of them to work from home and work from the office. They realized that people working from home took fewer sick leaves.
24. Remote workers feel they get more time to take care of themselves.
About 90% of the remote workers believe flexible working hours will allow them to take better care of their physical and mental health. About 55% of the people who have to commute to work felt more stressed, so much so that stress related to commuting was higher than the stress of the job itself.
25. Unlike remote workers, commuters have unhealthy eating habits.
33% of office goers believe they snacked more due to their commute to work, resulting in the consumption of an extra 767 calories from food and drinks apart from the regular meals every week.
26. Flexible working hours help better interpersonal relationships.
In a survey conducted in 2017, 94% of the respondents agreed that flexible working hours had had a positive impact on their lives and their relationships (romantic and non-romantic). About 51% of the remote workers believed flexible working schedules would benefit their romantic relationships.
Remote Work and Co-working Spaces
27. 56% of Asia's Top 200 Occupiers are already using the flexible workspace, and 91% are considering it
This is a fascinating piece of stats. It's not only the western economies and developed countries that are acknowledging the benefits of flexible workspace. The developing and exuberant Asian market is showing a similar kind of interest in flexible workspace. 56% of Asia’s Top 200 Occupiers have started using the flexible workspace, and an astonishing 91% of the remaining ones are considering adopting this model.
28. Co-working spaces are getting crowded, but they still aren’t the first choice.
Working remotely or working for a global team gives employees the flexibility to work from anywhere. Despite that, about 84% of remote workers prefer to work from home. About 10 % of the employees choose co-working spaces over home, offices, or cafes.
29. Why do remote workers choose co-working spaces?
Working remotely has many perks and benefits, but it also has a few flipsides. Many remote workers feel lonely, less motivated, and disconnected from the outer world. Co-working spaces resolve these without bringing onboard the rigidness of an office set-up. In a survey conducted by smallbizlabs, 83% of remote workers agreed that they felt less lonely after picking a co-working space, while 89% felt happier.
30. 71% of companies do not compensate for the co-working spaces of remote employees
With the advent of remote work culture and the gig economy, the world saw a surge in the mushrooming of co-working spaces. While companies have accepted this work model, most of them still don’t acknowledge the relevance of these co-working spaces. About 71% of the companies do not compensate the remote workers using co-working spaces.
The pandemic has accelerated the growth and popularity of remote work and global team culture, a win-win situation for both organizations and talents. Many companies like Skuad, Papaya Global, Remotely, etc., have made this transition smoother and seamless. Of course, like everything in the universe, remote work culture has some drawbacks like mental burnouts, time management, struggling to end your day, or feeling lonely. But if you make slight alterations in your approach, this is a perfect work model to bring back sanity into our lives and break free from the mechanical and monotonous office hours.
(References: IWG, Hubspot, FYI, OWLLabs, PRAGLI, LinkedIn, Review42, Airstaker, Indeed, NHS)