Till 2019, the model of remote work was gaining popularity at a skeptical rate, with both employers as well as 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 it has to offer 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 very interesting remote work statistics we came across that will put the soaring popularity of this new work trend and the reasons behind it in perspective.
According to a survey conducted by Gartner, 97% of the world’s organisations cancelled all work-related travel, and 88% of the global organisations either made it compulsory or encouraged their employees to work remotely.
In a survey conducted by Statista in the first quarter of 2020, when the world was compelled to work remotely, 67% of the global organisations reported an increase in spending on video conferencing tools and softwares.
25% of the companies that participated in the survey conducted by Statista said they will 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 organisation can benefit and save from the remote work architecture.
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 remotely at least five days in a month.
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 surely shot up in 2020.
Although remote work allows you to work from anywhere on the planet, 84% of the remote workers prefer to work from home.
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.
Nobody can be as great and as effective as an ambassador for your company’s work culture other than your employees. About 81% of the employees of companies that give remote work options are likely to recommend them to talented candidates.
Corporate employees and employers were among the strong advocates of on-site jobs with a stringent 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.
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%.
While on-site jobs might come with fat paychecks, they also result in work expenditure along with travel expenses. Not to forget other 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.
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 definitely more important than many other perks that come with regular jobs. As a result, 69% of the millennials are ready to give up benefits for flexible work options including remote work.
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.
In the United States, companies spend about approx. $18,400 per person, per workplace annually, whereas even the best remote companies do not 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.
Processing data from the U.S. 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.
This piece of statistics highlights how more workers are being drawn towards the remote work model. In the next 5 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.
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%).
Away from the many distractions, about 77% of remote employees feel their productivity increases when they are working remotely. In fact, about 76% of employees prefer to skip offices to work on projects that need complete focus.
As stated above, over 75% of employees feel more productive while working remotely. Out of them, 30% feel they do more in less time than what they take while working in the office.
Health professionals recommend people with desk jobs to take 5-10 minutes breaks after every hour to keep their postures correct and backs fit. If that isn’t a good enough reason for the workaholics to take breaks between their work, then 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.
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. Organisations like Best Buy, British Telecom, Dow Chemical, and many others show that remote workers are 35-40% more productive.
According to a study by Airstaker, remote workers spent about 2 hours 44 minutes exercising during a week as 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.
More than 50% of remote workers believe working from home reduces sick days. In fact, many employees avail sick leaves not because they are unwell but for other reasons like personal works, lack of motivation, work-related stress, etc.
In another experiment conducted by Ctrip, a Chinese travel agency, where it asked its customer care employees to volunteer to work from home, and then randomly asked some of them to work from home and some to work from the office. They realized that people working from home took fewer sick leaves.
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.
In fact, 33% of office goers believe they snacked more due to their commute to work which has resulted in the consumption of an extra 767 calories from food and drinks apart from the regular meals every week.
In a survey conducted in 2017, 94% of the respondents agreed that flexible working hours have 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.
This is a very interesting 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 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.
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.
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.
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 which is a win-win situation for both organisations and talents. Many companies like Skuad, Papaya Global, Remotely, etc have made this transition even smoother and seamless. Of course, like everything in the universe, remote work culture too has some drawbacks like mental burnouts, time management, struggling to end your day, or feeling lonely; but if you make small 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.