2020 did not go according to plan, did it? Every single area has been influenced by the current(at the time of writing) pandemic. Amongst every other disruption, the corporate sector was the most hard hit. So, why do we need to understand or know a few remote work statistics?
Companies had to adjust to new working standards overnight. This meant that companies hardly got any time to ponder and plan. We need to look at the scenario quantitatively and try to conjure some sense amongst all this chaos. The pandemic could turn out to be the final nail in the coffin of the current work standards.
But the more important reason why understanding the statistics is important is because remote working isn’t going anywhere soon. What this current pandemic has exposed that most of the operations of a well-oiled organization can be done remotely. According to us, we are going to see a huge spike in the number of remote workers in the near future(even after everything gets back to normal)
P.S.- Most of the stats will be dealing with the normal pre-pandemic scenario.
According to Global Workplace analytics, 4.7 million US employees work from home(or remotely) for at least half of the working week. These employees make up 3.4% of the workforce.
18% of employees work remotely at least once a week.
Remote workers grew over 44% in the last 5 years, 91% over the last 10 years, and 159% over the last 12 years globally.
49% of employees state that few members of their teamwork permanently from home or remotely.
What these statistics show us that remote working has been on the rise. More people are opting to work remotely full time. Companies need to become more flexible to accommodate these demands by the new age workers. Remote employees and remote teams might outnumber on-site workers in the next decade.
What People Say
In a study by buffer, a whopping 99% responded that they would like to work remotely sometime during a week for the rest of their career.
95% of employees encourage their colleagues about working remotely when there is an emergency or urgency.
40% of employees see a flexible schedule as the biggest positive of a remote working stint.
What these numbers paint for us is a picture of how people view remote work. Almost everyone seems to prefer remote work than onsite work(at least for one day a week).
Another key takeaway here is that the most significant reason why people prefer remote working stint is because of the flexible schedule and a great work-life balance.
This is a big sign for employers all over the world. If your company is not particularly suited for a mass remote working environment, then maybe your organization can substitute that with other factors that facilitate flexible working hours and a great work-life balance.
Productivity and Efficiency
According to CoSo Cloud, 77% of employees report to being more productive when they are working from home.
76% of employees tend to find the office environment distractive when they have an important task at hand or need to complete an urgent task in a short period of time.
In an office environment, workers on average work for 11 minutes before getting distracted by elements exclusive to the office.
53% of remote workers say that they are far less likely to take time off or leaves than they would if they had worked onsite.
84% of remote workers prefer to work from home compared to any other setting. The second most preferred setting for remote workers is coffee shops and cafes.
According to a survey conducted by Indeed, 50% of remote workers said they fell less sick as compared to when working at an office and 56% responded by saying that remote working reduced their sick leaves.
So, it is proved that working from home or working remotely can increase the productivity of your employees.
But let’s back up a little. You already knew that remote working can increase productivity right? So what new insight can we gain from these data?
The first insight that we can gain is that people in fact not only are less productive when it comes to working onsite but are also more easily distracted. Maybe companies can give more flexibility to roles that require minimum interaction with stakeholders.
Another interesting insight we can gain is that although remote workers prefer to work from home, their second most preferred setting is of coffee shops and cafes. If remote working is not entirely possible in your organization then maybe you can improve productivity by revamping your workspace.
75% of companies supporting remote working do not pay for internet connections.
71% of companies do not cover co-working membership.
87% of companies do not cover the coffee shop expenses of employees(during remote working hours of course).
22% of employees report that unplugging after work is the biggest challenge they face.
While looking at every other statistics, we also need to have a peek at the challenges of remote working.
One thing we can learn from the stats that most employees have a problem regarding the cost associated with remote working. Companies need to address a few areas such as internet connections cost and other such associated costs with working from home.
Another area where employees report drain out is unplugging. For the majority of the people, ending workday is simply the change in the digital medium. The day starts out with working with the office systems and ends with binge-watching shows on the TV this takes a toll on employees’ mental health.
As the world tackles the current pandemic, we are going to see some irreversible changes around us. Some of them might be indirect such as better maintenance of personal hygiene, others may be more direct, like avoiding crowded places.
We believe that the work-culture all around the world will have a monumental shift. Organizations might go fully remote or hire much more full-time remote workers. As companies gear up towards permanent reforms in their work-culture, it is vital for them to go through these stats and understand how they can use these data at their disposal.
It is also important for people working remotely to ponder upon the permanent changes that might happen to the workforce. They should adapt to remote team experiences as companies might hire remote workers to a larger extent.
There might also be a huge influx of part-time workers in organizations. Also, we have to consider the grim scenarios too, like massive pay cuts for employees or worse, massive downsizing.
What people and organizations need to understand that at the moment every opinion and every speculation is just that. Speculations. They need to make sure not to get carried away and take every piece of advice with a grain of salt.