Remote work has been on the rise in past years and that’s due to several reasons, such as rapid technological developments and, more recently, the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And while remote work saw its sharpest increase in years due to the 2-year-long global quarantine, it does come with its fair share of benefits, with increased productivity and better work-life balance cited by most remote workers.
As such, the majority of companies and employers out there have also embraced remote work in one way or another, be it in the form of hybrid working schedules or increased workplace flexibility.
To give you a complete picture of the state of remote work, we’ve compiled a list of the most important remote work statistics in 2023 (and earlier), including:
- 35 Remote Work Statistics
- 12 Remote Hiring Statistics
- Top Industries and Departments for Remote Workers
- Benefits and Challenges of Working Remotely
39 Remote Work Statistics
A GitLab survey found that around 82% of respondents believe that remote work is the future - but is that truly the case?
These general statistics on how remote work has evolved globally should be able to answer that question:
General Remote Work Statistics
- According to an Owl Labs State of Remote Work report, 56% of global companies allow remote work, while 16% of global companies are fully remote.
- On the other hand, 44% of global companies don’t allow remote work at all.
- Around 62% of employees aged 22 to 65 say they work remotely at least occasionally.
- A study by Intuition found that nearly half of employees worked remotely full-time during the COVID-19 pandemic. The same study found that the number of employees working remotely prior to the pandemic was 30%, compared to 48% in 2022.
- Since 2009, says Global Workplace Analytics, the number of people who work from home has risen by 159%.
- A McKinsey & Co. survey found that more than half of government and corporate workers report that they would like to work from home at least three days a week once the pandemic is over.
- Today, 62% of employees expect their employers to let them work remotely after COVID-19 (Intuition).
- 80% of remote workers would consider quitting their current position for a job that focuses more on employees’ mental health.
- Remote work is more common in cities with high-income levels. Improvements in technology and high-speed internet have made it possible for many business service jobs to be remote Since big, high-income cities are specialized in business services, this has translated into a growth of remote jobs there.
- The gender wage gap persists in remote work. A 2018 study showed that men across the globe are 8% more likely to work remotely than women. At the same time, they’re also more likely to earn six figures working online jobs (13% Vs 8%).
- The same study revealed that the majority of remote workers choose this lifestyle because of the freedom and flexibility it provides. 11% of marketing professionals cited the desire to travel more as the main reason for working remotely, while 65% of creatives cited freedom and the flexibility to work whenever they want.
- 47% of remote workers believe there can be better tools to help them manage their work.
- Those who’ve worked remotely for over seven years are more likely to keep doing it forever than those who’ve only recently started.
- A 2019 survey by Buffer found that 84% of remote employees work from home, 8% go to coworking spaces, and just 4% go to cafes.
- In 2020, 70% of the world was working from home and 92% of people expected to work from home at least once per week.
- 82% of remote managers are concerned about reduced productivity.
- 59% of workers struggle with distractions from other video conferencing participants.
- One in four employers helped their employees with the costs of creating a remote workstation.
Remote Work Statistics for Employers and Company Leaders
Where exactly do companies stand when it comes to remote work?
What do they think are the biggest challenges and benefits associated with remote work and how do they see remote work developing in the future?
Check out these interesting remote work statistics regarding employers and company executives to find out:
- A Gartner Inc. survey of 317 Chief Financial Officers found that 47% of company leaders will allow employees to work from home full-time after the pandemic.
- Meanwhile, the same survey found that 82% of company leaders plan to allow their employees to work remotely at least part of the time post-pandemic.
- The Gartner CFO survey also revealed that 74% of CFOs plan to shift at least 5% of their on-site workers to permanently remote positions after the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Intuition found out that 78% of a group of 669 CEOs believe remote collaboration has to be thought of as a long-term business strategy.
- When asked what their biggest concern is when it comes to remote work, 30% of business leaders replied it’s maintaining the corporate culture.
- 29% of business leaders have not taken any measures to track employee productivity while working remotely (Intuition).
- 61% of business leaders have implemented more frequent manager-employee check-ins since they started practicing remote work.
- Owl Labs, in a 2019 study, found that in the U.S., there are 18% more executives working remotely than there are working on-site.
- Additionally, senior executives and above say they work remotely at least once a week - 34% more than employees in lower positions.
- 6 in 7 managers believe that hybrid teams (remote and in-office employees) will be the new normal in the future.
- Chief Information Officers globally expect remote work to increase by 34.4% after the pandemic. That amount is double what it was pre-pandemic, but half of the pandemic peak.
- In 2018, US companies saved $5 billion thanks to remote work programs.
- Many employers believe remote work is the key to international expansion, with 17% of companies saying remote work allows them to connect with foreign clients better.
Statistics on Remote Work Earnings
Does remote work come with less or more earnings? Here is what the numbers have to say:
- The average annual income of remote workers is $4,000 higher than that of other workers. According to a FlexJobs survey, that’s also the amount of money the average remote worker saves up working from home.
- GoodHire found that 61% of American workers are willing to accept a pay cut just to keep working remotely.
- Employees aren’t the only ones who seem to be benefiting from remote work financially. A Stanford survey found that companies that allow remote work see an average increase of $2,000 in profit per remote worker.
- Owl Labs found that 55% of employees work more hours when they’re working remotely.
- A survey by Global Workplace Analytics found that 75% of remote workers earn over $65,000 annually. These stats point to the fact that remote workers fall into a higher-income bracket, are college-educated, and are typically over 45 years old.
- Back in 2019, an Owl Labs State of Remote Work report found that 2.2 times more employees earn over $100,000 working remotely than in offices.
- While only 7% of employees who’ve worked remotely for under a year earn over $100,000, the percentage jumps to 18% for remote workers who’ve done it for 7 years or more.
- Engineers who work remotely earn the most, with 19% of them earning $100k or more. Second come Marketing professionals, with 11%, and Creatives, with 8%.
12 Remote Hiring Statistics
How does remote work affect hiring and talent acquisition, if at all? Here are some statistics that can paint a clear picture:
- 65% of respondents in one survey by Intuition said they want to be full-time remote employees post-pandemic.
- Meanwhile, according to the Owl Labs State of Remote Work report, half of those surveyed won’t return to jobs that fail to offer remote work after the pandemic.
- U.S. companies that support remote work experience 25% lower employee turnover.
- 71% of U.S. survey respondents agree that the ability to work remotely would make them more likely to choose one employer over another in their next job.
- 31% of current remote employees want a hybrid remote work environment moving forward.
- Small companies are 2 times more likely to hire full-time remote workers.
- 64% of recruiters say that being able to pitch a work-from-home policy helps them find high-quality talent.
- In 2017, there was a 50% decrease in resignations in companies that allowed remote work.
- 1 in 4 U.S. survey respondents would take a pay cut of up to 10% to be able to work remotely.
- 80% of those surveyed by Owl Labs said they’d be more loyal to their company if it offered more flexible working schedules.
- The same study revealed that 74% of those surveyed felt that being able to work remotely would make them less likely to quit their job.
- Full-time workers are four times more likely to be offered remote work options.
Top Industries and Departments for Remote Workers
A few years back, not everyone had the chance to work remotely. On the contrary, telecommuting was possible for particular industries, such as the tech industry or education.
Today, telecommuting is becoming the norm in an increasingly wider range of industries. Here is what the stats have to say about the top industries and departments for remote workers in the last years:
- According to an Upwork survey, 73% of all departments are likely to have remote workers by 2028.
- The Owl Labs State of Remote Work report found that the industries with the most remote workers in the US are the healthcare industry (15%), technology/internet (10%), financial services (9%), education (8%), and manufacturing (7%).
- Globally, the industries with the most remote workers are government and education, finance and insurance, technology and marketing, healthcare and medical, and manufacturing and industrial.
- In the US, the departments most represented by remote workers are facilities/operations/IT departments (18%), customer service/support departments (15%), sales departments (14%), administrative departments (13%), and executive/company leadership departments (7%).
- Meanwhile, the departments with the biggest on-site representation of workers include customer support/service (21%), administrative (17%), facilities/operations (12%), sales (10%), and engineering (7%).
Do Employees Want to Work Remotely?
Job satisfaction is among the most commonly cited outcomes of remote work and there are plenty of other surveys to back that up.
For example, according to a survey by Slack that asked 9,000 employees in six countries, only 12% of employees want to return to the office permanently, while 72% of workers prefer some kind of hybrid model.
That said, there’s still debate around the benefits of working remotely as opposed to working in an office.
For this reason, many employees and employers alike want to make sure the benefits of remote work outweigh the challenges before fully embracing it.
Here is a list of the biggest benefits and challenges of working remotely in 2023:
7 Benefits of Working Remotely
- Increased productivity. 77% of remote workers say they’re more productive when they’re working from home
- Fewer distractions. One study found that 78% of remote employees want to work remotely to avoid distractions. 75% of respondents in a similar study by FlexJobs also said one of the biggest reasons for working remotely is because there are fewer distractions.
- Better work-life balance. According to an Owl Labs report on the State of Remote Work, 91% of US employees like working remotely because of a better work-life balance.
- Less expensive. Data shows that remote workers save approximately $7,000 annually in commute costs, food expenses, and childcare.
- Environmentally-friendly. Increased telework means there are fewer cars on the roads going and coming from offices. As transportation accounts for 28% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, going remote is a great way to help the environment too.
- Work flexibility. 43% of CEOs that have embraced remote work say they will grant employees flexible working days going forward.
- Healthier. An Intuition survey found that 91.5% of remote workers engage in regular wellness activities (compared to 81.5% of onsite workers).
6 Challenges of Working Remotely
- Separating work from leisure. The 2019 State of Remote Work Buffer survey found that the biggest challenge remote workers face is unplugging after work (22%).
- Loneliness and lack of communication. The same survey found that the second biggest challenge remote workers face is loneliness (19%) and lack of communication with their co-workers (17%).
- Difficulty concentrating at work. Many remote workers say they have a hard time concentrating at work without a manager over their shoulder. That’s especially true for those who’ve worked remotely for only under a year (9%) as opposed to long-term remote workers (4%).
- Lack of training. A TalentLMS survey found that only 70% of remote workers get regular training from their company, whereas the rest may choose to find and pay for online courses and training online.
- Less involvement. Remote employees are 16% less likely to say that their manager involves them in the goal-setting process (Gallup). Alternative expenses. According to the 2019 State of Remote Report by Buffer, 8% of remote workers have difficulties staying motivated, so they go to co-working spaces. However, only 23% of remote workers state that their employer covers the cost of a coworking space membership.
FAQ on Remote Work
If you still have some uncertainties regarding remote work, check out our answers to the most frequently asked questions on the topic:
#1. Are remote workers paid less?
No, remote workers are not paid less.
On the contrary, a FlexJobs study found that the average remote, full-time worker earns more than those who don’t work remotely at all ($4,000 more).
#2. How can I be productive when working remotely?
There are several ways to stay productive when you’re working remotely. For example, you should designate your own workspace (to make sure you don’t work from bed or the couch all day long); wake up and start working just like you would if you had to go to the office (although sleeping in can be quite tempting, it might put you in a procrastination loop); take frequent breaks; eliminate digital distractions (preferably, by turning off all social media notifications).
#3. Are remote employees happier?
Some studies indicate that remote employees are happier. For example, a survey by Intuition found that more remote workers report being satisfied with their jobs compared to in-office employees (57% as opposed to 50%).
On the other hand, though, 19% of remote workers cite loneliness as one of the biggest challenges of working remotely and 17% cite communication, which means that remote work is not always cut out to make employees happy.
And that’s a wrap!
We hope this article has given you a more comprehensive view of the state of remote work in 2023 and helped you make up your mind whether it’s a challenge or a blessing in disguise!