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28 Need-To-Know Remote Work Statistics Of 2020

remote work statistics

Have you ever been curious about the potential of remote work?

Well, now is the perfect time to find out!

A veritable revolution is happening in global job markets in 2020. Large centralized offices seem to have turned into sinking ships, with more and more people jumping overboard.

But what does that mean for you and your business?

Don’t worry! We’ve done all the research for you. In this article, we’ve assembled a boatload of remote work statistics and remote work trends of 2020 for you to work through.

Fascinating Remote Work Stats

  • 55% of businesses globally offer some capacity for remote work
  • 18% of the workforce telecommute on a full-time basis
  • 77% of telecommuters report being more productive
  • 37% of remote workers say the best way to boost productivity is to take regular breaks
  • 30% of telecommuters save upward of $5,000 a year
  • $11,000 is how much companies can save annually for each employee that works remotely half-time
  • People who work remotely earn $4,000 more per year on average
  • 99% of remote workers want to continue telecommuting in the future
  • 90% of remote workers would recommend working remotely to a friend

Even though many companies allowed their staff to work remotely before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, it became the new norm after that. As the pandemic spread, forcing the world to go into lockdown, business organizations were left with no other option than to switch to online working. As a result, there has been a drastic increase in the number of remote workers, lately. 

Are you’re an employee with the curiosity to know how well (or not) businesses and their workforces have adapted to the new trend of working remotely from home? Or you’re an employer wanting to know dominant remote work trends to figure if and how can bring improvements in your system? Regardless of whichever category you fit in, here are some interesting remote work statistics to help you gain an insight into remote work trends of 2020.

Working from Home Stats 2020 Before and After the Spread of COVID-19 

Let’s take a look remote workforce statistics before and after COVID-19 pandemic was declared to understand how the novel coronavirus has affected the workforce and a better estimate of remote working growth:

1. 4.7 million people were already working remotely from home before the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Flexjobs)

An analysis of the data issued by the US Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that 4.7 million people, which make about 3.4% of the US workforce, were already working remotely before the novel coronavirus took the world by storm. This was up by 1% or 0.8 million from 2015.

2. 88% of the organizations, worldwide, made it mandatory or encouraged their employees to work from home after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.

(Gartner)

A global survey conducted by Gartner, Inc. found that 88% of business organization all over the world mandated or encouraged all their employees to work from home as the virus started to spread at exponential rates. Furthermore, about 97% of the organizations immediately canceled all work-related travel. 

Remote Workers Statistics

To start, we will look at the big one, which is the number of people already working remotely. This will help shed light on whether this is only a niche form of employment or whether it’s happening on a larger scale.

3. 44% of companies globally don’t allow remote work

(Owl Labs)

Although at first glance, this seems like a lot, it isn’t really the case. Let’s flip the number on its head. This means that more than half of the companies around the world do offer telecommuting opportunities. That’s a whopping 56%.

We’ll dive into the reasons for this, later on, so stick around. But before we get to those, we need to discuss a few more things like:

4. 52% of global employees work remotely once a week, and 68% do so at least once per month

(Owl Labs)

In total, more people work from home at least occasionally than those who don’t at all.

Generally, this will look different for different companies and roles. For some, it might mean working overtime on weekends or at night. In other cases, remote work might be a part of the weekly routine.

Now we can move on from the general to the specific.

5. 2.9% of the total U.S. workforce work remotely at least half of the time

(Flexjobs)

Did you know that 3.9 million employees in the U.S. spend most of their days working away from the office?

Many people and businesses seem to be under the impression that remote work is still something out of the ordinary. Or they assume that it’s only for digital nomads and millennials. But as you can see, that is simply not true.

Facts About Remote Workforce

Woman Wearing Beige Dress Shirt Using Laptop Computer

6. 18% of people work remotely full-time

(Owl Labs)

And if you want to make working remotely a full-time gig?

In that case, you will be joining 18% of the workforce. Almost 2 out of every 10 people permanently work from home.

7. In the U.S remote work has risen by 173% between 2005 and 2018

(Global Workplace Analytics)

If you’d like to incorporate remote work as a strategy in your business, that’s fantastic news.

These remote work adoption rate statistics from Global Workplace Analytics prove that working from home (WFH) has been on a steep upward trajectory since the early 2000s. This is not a trend that is going to blow over once the lockdown is over.

Innovations and improvements in technology can take much of the credit for this.

Working From Home Productivity Statistics

Arguably, one of the most common concerns is remote worker productivity. And who can blame employers for worrying when distractions like Netflix are just one click away?

But the stats might surprise you. Take a look for yourself.

8. 77% of remote employees say they’re more productive when working from home

(CoSo Cloud)

Who would have thought that working from home can increase your productivity? Well, the proof is in the pudding, or in the numbers in this case.

77% of people working remotely claim to work more productively.

Let’s find out how they achieve this.

9. 37% of remote workers stay productive by taking breaks

(Airtasker)

Participants in an Airtasker survey indicated that taking regular breaks was the most effective tool for productivity. So if you need to work from home, make sure that you incorporate time for a breather in your routine.

Telecommuting Productivity Statistics

laptop in the forest

10. Having set working hours is the most effective way to stay productive for 33% of telecommuters

(Airtasker)

During the same survey, work from home employees indicated that having set working hours was the second most popular way to keep them going. Interestingly, this is also one of the top methods that offices around the world employ for better productivity.

11. 80% of telecommuters experience less work-related stress

(Amerisleep)

The overwhelming majority of remote workers report less stress when they work from home. This doesn’t mean that they feel no stress, but a reduction in worry is still a very big benefit of remote work.

12. 75% of people who work from home do so because there are fewer distractions

(Flexjobs)

Most remote workers find that they are less distracted at home than they would be in the office. Therefore, they are better able to focus on their work and get things done!

Remote Work Pros & Cons

Before we look at the negative, let’s look at the positive. There appear to be plenty of reasons why remote working is winning in popularity.

Here, we will cover the benefits that are worth writing home about.

13. 53% of U.S. telecommuters view flexible scheduling as the top benefit

(Statista)

And it’s difficult to argue with them. Remote workers in the UK, Canada, and Australia all agree that flexible schedules allow them to adapt their work to their family and home life. On top of this, it gives them the opportunity to work when they are feeling at their best.

Of course, that’s not all that remote work has to offer.

14. U.S. companies that allow remote working have a 25% lower employee turnover rate

(Owl Labs)

All in all, these stats suggest that working remotely from home can significantly improve employee well-being and satisfaction. In the end, happy workers are better workers.

But productivity aside, offering remote work can be a great selling point for your company.

Unsurprisingly, this also means that employees want to stick around for longer.

Yet, it can’t all be a bed of roses. There must be some thorns hidden among the flowers, right?

So let’s jump in at the deep end.

Photo Of Woman Using Laptop

15. 2020 has seen a 9% increase in Google search interest related to “team-building”

(Think With Google)

It seems that employees working from home are struggling to adapt to working in teams while working long distance. No surprise there. But this is something you need to be aware of if you want to make working from home your thing.

However, there is an upside to this, as well. It shows that businesses are taking the well-being of their teams to heart and are also gearing up to make remote work successful in the long run.

16. 19% of remote employees report loneliness as their biggest challenge

(Buffer)

Unfortunately, a lack of face-to-face communication seems to leave many remote workers dissatisfied. Loneliness appears to be one of the significant issues that they need to deal with.

If this goes on too long, it can cause a significant decrease in people’s psychological and emotional well-being.

Luckily, there are hundreds of solutions out there to solve this issue. From virtual office parties to organizing face-to-face meetups, you can find a way to fulfill your team’s social needs.

17. 54% of IT professionals think that remote workers are a greater security risk

(OpenVPN)

As soon as workers are not on-site, it becomes much more difficult to have control over the organization’s security infrastructure. Companies need to take steps to prevent data leaks and similar issues.

18. 20% of remote workers identify communication as an obstacle

(Buffer)

Not having a centralized office can make simple communication between employees far more challenging. If this overlaps with the issues seen from the remote work isolation statistics above, there is cause for concern.

Generally, these two issues go hand in hand.

Work From Home Jobs Statistics By Industry

Obviously, there will be some jobs that will be a breeze to do from home. But others are far more challenging.

Here we have a recap on everything you need to know about remote work across different industries.

19. 55% of U.S. workers say remote work can succeed in their industry

(LinkedIn)

In the main, there is a strong belief that there is a place for remote work in most industries. This is particularly so in fields that have embraced the digital age, such as software, finance, and media. According to these same telecommuting stats for 2020 75% of workers in these fields have high hopes for working remotely in the future.

20. 57% of employees in the financial industry can work from home

(U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics)

It’s no surprise that the largest portion of people who can and do work from home are in finance.

21. Only 14% of workers in the transport and utilities industry can work from home

(U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics)

All in all, these industries have the lowest number of remote workers. The practicalities of their job mean that there is much less room for flexibility.

22. 16% of remote workers are managers

(Fundera)

According to work from home statistics, a significant number of people who work from home fall under the management category. In general, telecommuters tend to hold higher positions in their company.

Remote Work Income Statistics

Increased flexibility, productivity, and happiness all sound fantastic. But those aren’t the only things in its favor. In the business world, money talks, so let’s talk about money while looking at some top working from home stats.

Woman Using Her laptop While Having A Conversation Over The Phone

23. 30% of remote workers are saving as much as $5,240 per year

(CoSo Cloud)

Yes, you read that correctly. According to CoSo Cloud’s remote work survey statistics, employees can save more than a whopping 5 grand a year. All of this is due to having to spend less on commuting, eating at home, and more.

Just think about what you can do with that money!

But it’s not only the employees that can save a penny or two.

24. Businesses would save an average of $11,000 annually per half-time telecommuter

(Global Workplace Analytics)

That’s right! Companies and employers can save too.

How, you might be wondering?

Well, picture your office setup and layout in your head. There are all kinds of costs involved: internet connections, utilities, rent, etc.

Factor all of this in, and you can see how businesses can cut their expenses.

25. The average annual income for most telecommuters is $4,000 higher than that of non-telecommuters

(Flexjobs)

Therefore, not only are many telecommuters saving more. They are also earning more, to begin with. As we’ve mentioned, many of the people who work remotely hold high-ranking roles and positions in their companies, which might contribute to this figure.

However, it doesn’t account for the entirety of this deviation. Across the board, telecommuters are earning decent salaries.

computer in bed

26. 25% of employees would take a 10% pay cut to work remotely

(Owl Labs)

Even though there is a potential to earn more, Owl Labs telecommuting statistics 2019 show that many remote workers will take a pay cut to be able to work from home.

To be more precise, a third of workers would be willing to take a 5% reduction whereas a quarter of them would give up 10%. Surprisingly, more than 20% will take an even greater reduction.

We think this statistic pretty much says it all. It just serves to show that money isn’t everything.

Work From Home Trends

So now, we’ve pretty much covered everything going on in the work from home trends. Yet, there’s something else to consider, namely, what’s going to happen with remote work in the future.

We don’t have a crystal ball, so we can’t see the future. But these predictions give us a pretty solid idea of where working from home is heading.

27. As of April 2020, 67 percent of organizations reported an increase in spending on web conferencing software.

(Statista)

Companies with digital output are quick to understand the necessity of a reliable software solution given that remote work is a trend that is here to stay beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.

28. 25% of respondent companies will move 10% of their employees to permanent remote positions post-COVID 19

(Statista)

If the recent global crisis proved one thing, it’s how many jobs can potentially change into remote roles. As a result, many CFOs plan to take advantage of the cost-saving benefits of this on a long-term basis.

29. Amazingly 99% of remote workers would like to continue doing so to some extent

(Buffer)

Contrary to what they say, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. However, when it comes to remote work, it seems to be emerald green!

The workers love the increased flexibility, freedom, and independence that working remotely provides.

Additionally, for you as an employer, it would mean that your workforce will be less likely to back out of your arrangement.

30. An astounding 42% of employees with a remote work option plan to work remotely more often in the next five years

(Owl Labs)

Owl Labs remote work statistics 2019 reveal that almost half of the workers who have the option to work remotely, not only plan to do so but also expect to do so more often than they currently are doing over the coming years.

laptop on a couch

31. 73% of teams will have remote workers by 2028

(Upwork)

Significantly, this statistic suggests that not only will remote working grow in total numbers it will also become more widespread across industries. It won’t only be isolated to specific companies and job types.

The future is looking long-distance.

32. 69% of young managers allow their team members to work remotely

(Upwork)

A research study from Upwork titled “Future Workforce Report” delved a bit into remote working stats and has found that 69% of the young managers (primarily millennials and some early achievers from Gen Z) allow their team members to work remotely. Within this group, 75% of managers reported that they have employees who spend a significant chunk of their working hours working remotely.

33. Zoom is one of the most widely used apps to meet the increased virtual collaboration needs amidst COVID-19

(Zoom) 

As the majority of the workforce, worldwide, shifted to remote working after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the WHO, the needs for virtual collaboration drastically increased. While different companies opted for different apps and tools, Zoom gained worldwide popularity, and its usage increases exponentially. In April, the company reported that it had surpassed 300 million daily participants. However, Zoom users are not only entrepreneurs and working professionals; they also include a large number of teachers and students.

34. 86% of companies now have the policy to deal with coronavirus-related absences

(Gartner)

Majority of companies have formulated policies to deal with coronavirus related absences. 48% want their employees to first use their sick leaves, followed by vacation leaves, and then, if the need arises, the employers will consider granting additional PTO for COVID-19 absences. However, 20% of businesses have increased PTO for people affected by coronavirus or have an affected family member to take care of. An additional 18% of business organizations have increased PTO for parents who need to take care of their children (as schools are closed).

Gartner’s research shows that there are only very few employers ask their workers to take unpaid leave.

35. 25% to 30% of the workforce will be working remotely from home by the end of 2021

(Global Workplace Analytics)

Kate Lister, the president of Global Workplace Analytics, has forecasted that about 25% to 30% of the workforce will be working remotely, for several days a week, by the end of 2021.

Remote Work Stats In A Nutshell

Altogether, these remote work statistics show that remote work is here to stay. Working from home has been on an upward trend for close on to two decades, with no potential endpoint in sight.

However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with its fair share of challenges. This is especially true for specific industries, for example, transport. But it’s also true that it has great potential in other areas.

Today, it is more important than ever to explore your options. From potentially cutting costs to diversifying your staff, remote working can give your company an edge. And as an employee, it can give you more freedom and flexibility than you’ve ever enjoyed before.

 

Sources:

  1. Flexjobs
  2. Gartner
  3. Owl Labs
  4. Owl Labs
  5. Flexjobs
  6. Owl Labs
  7. Global Workplace Analytics
  8. CoSo Cloud
  9. Airtasker
  10. Airtasker
  11. Flexjobs
  12. Statista
  13. Amerisleep
  14. Owl Labs
  15. Think With Google
  16. Buffer
  17. OpenVPN
  18. Buffer
  19. LinkedIn
  20. U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics
  21. U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics
  22. Fundera
  23. CoSo Cloud
  24. Global Workplace Analytics
  25. Flexjobs
  26. Owl Labs
  27. Statista
  28. Statista
  29. Buffer
  30. Owl Labs
  31. Upwork
  32. Upwork
  33. Zoom
  34. Gartner
  35. Global Workplace Analytics