It’s been a long time coming. We’ve had the technology to make remote work a reality for a while. What we lacked was the will.
That all changed in early 2020, when Covid turned the world upside down. Overnight, offices that had always been in person went fully online and many are still online two and a half years later.
Remote work appears to be here to stay. Many employees are actively considering leaving their jobs if a return to in-person work is mandated.
Based on the statistics, Remote work provides benefits to both companies and their employees. Remote work saves companies money, results in happier, more engaged teams and reduces staff turnover.
Below we have curated some of the best remote work statistics that might surprise you.
Here’s a summary of the remote work statistics included below:
- How popular is remote work?
- How many companies are completely remote?
- What percentage of staff want to work from home?
- Top states and cities that offer remote work
- What industries have the most remote workers?
- Remote Work Future Trends
- Average savings for companies who implement hybrid/remote work
- Average savings per employee
- Environmental impact stats
- Recruitment stats for hiring remote employees
- Employee retention stats
- The negative impact of remote work
Key Remote Work Stats
36.2 million workers or 22% of Americans will be working remotely by the year 2025. This is an 87% increase from pre-pandemic levels. Below depicts interest over time from 2004-present time for trending remote job searches.
In-demand remote jobs by average salary:
1. Nearly 20% of Companies Are Completely Remote
According to a recent Owl Labs study, 16% of all businesses around the world are now fully remote. This means that most of these businesses do not have any physical office at all! As businesses realized that there was no end in sight to the need for remote work, some simply chose to stay remote. Many new businesses are also starting out from remote work.
2. In 13 Years, Remote Workers Have Increased 159%
Since remote work statistics were last measured in 2009, the number of people working remotely has increased by 159%. Some of the reasons for this are the increase in remote work technology and improved access to the internet and hardware required.
3. Nearly a Third of Workers Choose to Work from Home At Least Some of the Time
Another Owl Labs study of people aged 22 to 65, found that 62% of them work remotely at least some of the time. A few are fully remote, but others have hybrid work situations.
It’s interesting to note that many of the remote work statistics here apply to both full-time remote workers and those who have flexible work arrangements. So, you don’t always have to go fully remote to get the full benefit.
4. Higher Income Cities Have More Remote Workers
It makes sense that in places where there is a higher median income, more people work remotely. Some of those people are likely to be “knowledge workers” whose jobs can be done remotely and they have the means to afford the required technology. From analyzing some top job websites we have compiled a list of the top states and cities that are recruiting and have the highest population of remote workers.
States (and cities) with the highest population of remote workers
- California 6% [Berkely 11.6%, Santa Monica 9.6%, Pleasanton 9.5%]
- Texas 5.2% [The Woodlands 11.3%, Sugar Land 8.8%, Austin 8.2%]
- New York 4.5% [New York City 4.3%, Syracuse 4.2%, Rochester 2.9%]
- Florida 6.2% [Delray Beach 9.5%, Clearwater 9%, Miami Beach 8.6%]
- Illinois 5.1% [Naperville 10.1%, Evanston 7.9%, Arlington Heights 6.2%]
- Virginia 5.6% [Arlington 5.7%, Alexandria 5.3%, Roanoke 4.1%]
- Pennslyvania 5.1% [Pittsburgh 4.8%, Philadelphia 4.4%, Allentown 3.7%]
- North Carolina 6% [ Asheville 8.3%, Charlotte 6.9%, Raleigh 6.9%]
- Georgia 5.9% [Columbus 8%, Atlanta 7.2%, Sandy Springs 5.5%]
- Massachusetts 5.3% [Newton 10%, Worcester 6.4%, Cambridge 6.2%]
- Washington 6.5% [Bellevue 8.2%, Seattle, 7.6%, Renton 5.7%]
- New Jersey 4.7% [Jersey City 3.5%, Cameden 1.9%, Newark 1.6%]
- Colorado 8.6% [Boulder 14.9%, Broomfield 9.4%, Denver 8.2%]
- Arizona 6.8% [Scottsdale 10.7, Mesa 6.6%, Flagstaff 5.9%]
- Minnesota 6.1% [Plymouth 9.2%, Eagan 6.3%, St. Paul 6%]
5. Healthcare Tops the Remote Working List!
While you might assume that healthcare is an in-person business, the healthcare industry actually has the highest proportion of remote workers, at 15%.
Next up are technology with 10%, and financial services at 9%.
6. Over 40% of Companies Still Don’t Allow Remote Work
According to the statistics, 44% of companies around the world still don’t allow remote work. However, there’s been a growing trend since 2020 for job seekers to actively look for remote or hybrid roles. There’s a good chance changes in the workforce will trigger changes in that statistic.
As the demand for remote jobs increases, it’s likely that those companies will continue to struggle to attract and retain talent.
7. Employees Want Choice
When employees and job seekers were polled, 99% of them said they would choose some form of remote work or a hybrid schedule.
This trend has only been increasing over the years and shows no sign of changing any time soon. The remote work statistics are clear- this is one of the most sought after work situations worldwide.
8. It’s Expected That Over 70% of Departments Will Have Remote Workers By 2028
In five years time, it’s predicted that over 73% of all departments and teams will have at least one remote worker. This makes sense as teams become less centralized and hiring becomes a global practice, unrestricted by borders.
There’s no real reason why every member of every team needs to be in the same location to get the job done.
9. Remote Work Saves Businesses Money
There are countless studies and reports like this one that outline how remote work saves companies money. In fact, many estimates put the annual saving per employee at somewhere between $11,000 and $16,000. That adds up fast!
If companies have ten employees working remotely, that means that they can save well over $100,000 every year! Most of these savings come from lower space requirements, lower utility bills, no office consumable requirements and similar practical costs and considerations. Aside from productivity, companies can create smart workspaces to decrease the size of their footprint and track usage.
10. It Saves Employees Money Too
Companies are not the only financial winners when people work from home. Most employees report saving thousands on the cost to commute, take out meals, work clothing and other expenses. Those that can avoid having children in full-time care also save on childcare costs.
Estimates are that employees who work from home save on average $7,000 per year.
11. Businesses That Allow Remote Work Make More Money Too
Stanford University conducted a study of their own, and found that on average, businesses earn about $2,000 in extra profits for every remote worker. This is probably a result of increased productivity and employees who are allowed to work from home being more motivated to produce.
Of course, employees who work from home want to prove that the situation can be effective, so they often put in extra effort to stay asynchronous.
12. Nearly 10% of Workers Say They Are More Productive At Home
One of the reasons so many employers are wary of remote work is that they feel like employees won’t get their jobs done as efficiently. However, when considering wasted time commuting and gas prices, probably explains why 77% of remote workers report being more productive at home.
13. Distractions Are a Factor for Three-Quarters of the Workforce
For employees who have a suitable home office or local workspace, 75% of remote workers say that working remotely lets them avoid common office distractions.
14. Nearly 70% of Millennials Are Willing to Negotiate
Another Owl Labs report found that 69% of millennial workers are willing to negotiate and give up some of their benefits if it means they can work from home. This also means that remote work is one of the most prized and sought-after benefits out there.
15. Work-Life Balance Is Number One
The single most common reason people say they want to work from home is that they want work-life balance. Being able to cut out long commutes gives people more time to spend with their families or on hobbies and that’s becoming a key factor in where people choose to work.
16. Remote Workers Earn More
Perhaps it’s because remote work is predominantly for knowledge workers, but studies have shown that remote workers tend to earn, on average, $4,000 more than people who work in offices.
17. It’s Greener!
Current estimates, according to the State of Telecommuting, are that telecommuting reduces greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 600,000 cars per year! In fact, commuting to work is one of the biggest global polluters. So remote work is the greener choice.
18. Most Managers See Remote Work As the Future
Even though many don’t like it, more and more managers are realizing that remote work is the future of the workforce. In fact, over 85% who were surveyed by TECLA said that they believe remote work will be the norm in the future.
19. Small Businesses More Likely to Hire Remote
Remote work saves businesses money, gives them a larger pool of applicants to choose from and makes them more money. So, it’s no wonder that small businesses and startups have been adopting this option. In fact, small businesses are twice as likely to hire remote workers than larger competitors.
20. Over 60% of Recruiters Find a Work from Home Policy Helps Their Recruiting Efforts
According to IWG, 64% of all recruiters say that being able to offer remote or even hybrid work options give them more choices when hiring. It also gives them more applicants to pick from and more negotiating possibilities.
21. Nearly Three-Quarters of Workers Are Less Likely to Quit a Remote Job
Once workers find a job that allows remote work, 74% of them say they would be less likely to quit. Remote work not only makes it easier to hire productive people – it makes it easier to retain employees too.
In fact, in 2017, before the pandemic pushed more people to work from home, there was a 50% decrease in resignations by people who were allowed to work from home.
22. It’s Not All Sunshine and Roses
Like everything, there are some downsides to remote work. The line between work and personal lives can become blurred.
- 22% of all remote work employees say they have trouble unplugging.
- Almost 19% find it lonely to work from home
- 17% find that communication is not as effective.
However, some of those problems can be solved by offering hybrid work options.
23. There Are Some Security Risks
Companies that allow remote work need to have robust security and IT protocols. In fact, according to OpenVPN, 54% of IT professionals feel that remote work is a higher security risk. This means that companies may need to spend more on security measures and train employees to avoid IT security risks.
24. 30% of Remote Workers Don’t Get Regular Training from Their Companies
Training is important to keep employees’ skills sharp, but only 70% of remote workers say they have received regular training from their companies. However, another 17% of employees have facilitated their own training and many employees who work remotely do choose to upskill, which can benefit the companies they work for.
25. Less Than a Quarter of Remote Workers Have Access to a Company Paid Coworking Space
Coworking spaces are a good alternative for remote workers, but only 23% say that they have access to a space that is funded by the company they work for.
26. Remote Workers Are Less Involved In Goal Setting
Setting goals for employees helps to give them direction and focus. However, only 16% of employees polled in a Gallup study said that they feel like they are involved in the goal-setting process. This can lower engagement by those employees.
27. Remote Workers Are Happier
The happiness of employees is not usually something that is considered, but it is a huge factor in engagement, motivation and ultimately, the results employees deliver.
A 2018 study found that remote workers – even those who only work from home occasionally – are 24% happier than their office-bound compatriots.
Where to From Here?
When you consider all of the statistics we’ve mentioned here as a whole, it’s clear that the world is moving steadily towards a future where most of the jobs we currently do in offices will be fully remote or hybrid model.
Not only does this save companies and employees money and improve work-life balance, but it also means companies are not restricted to people who live near a physical office.
The combination of positive factors of all of the above statistics clearly shows that there are more benefits than drawbacks to remote/ hybrid work. Most of the problems faced by companies and employees are relatively easy to solve.