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Decoding Remote Work Statistics

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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 essential because remote working isn’t going anywhere soon. This current pandemic has exposed that people can do most of the operations of a well-oiled organization remotely. According to us, we are going to see a massive spike in the number of remote workers shortly (even after everything gets back to normal)

P.S.- Most of the stats will be dealing with the standard pre-pandemic scenario.

The Size

  • 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 previous 10 years, and 159% in 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 onsite workers in the next decade.

What People Say

  • In a study by the 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 most significant 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 to onsite work(at least 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 an outstanding 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 an outstanding work-life balance.

Productivity and Efficiency

  • According to CoSo Cloud, of employees report being more productive when working from home.

  • 76% of employees tend to find the office environment distractive when they have an essential task at hand or need to complete an urgent task in a short period.

  • 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 than 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 could increase productivity. So, what new insight can we gain from these data?

The first insight that we can gain is that people 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 fascinating insight we can gain is that although remote workers prefer to work from home, their second most preferred setting is coffee shops and cafes. If remote working is not entirely possible in your organization, you can improve productivity by revamping your workspace.

The Challenges

  • 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 statistic, we also need to peek at the challenges of remote working.

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 working from home.

Another area where employees report drain out is unplugging. For the majority of people, ending the workday is simply the change in the digital medium. The day starts with working with the office systems and ends with binge-watching shows on the T.V. this takes a toll on employees’ mental health.

Read next: Is Your Organization (Including You) Ready to Meet the Challenges of the #NewNormal?


As the world tackles the current pandemic, we are going to see some irreversible changes around us. Some 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.

This article is written by Iftekar Ahmed. He works as a Content Creator and Digital Marketer at Vantage Circle. When he is not playing guitar or solving puzzles, he is often seen fussing over foods he can't eat because he is on a perennial dieting spree. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com

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