Remote Work Statistics

Remote Work Statistics & Trends in 2024: Is it Effective?

Remote Work Statistics & Trends in 2024: Is it Effective?

The idea of remote working has always been popular. For many it’s the freedom from an office, there is no boss constantly looking over your shoulder. 

Employers are generally more wary of remote working as they have concerns over productivity levels.

The good news is that, in many cases, these concerns are unfounded. Remote workers are often more productive!

Of course, it wasn’t always a practical option, until the global pandemic arrived.

For many businesses, the only way to keep trading was to allow employees to work remotely. 

Now that the pandemic has officially ended and the concerns over covid-19 are passing, it would be natural to assume workers have returned to the workplace.

That’s not the case, as the following remote work statistics show. 

Key Statistics

  • Before the pandemic just 6% of workers were remote
  • In 2023, 27% of US workers are doing so remotely
  • An impressive 40% of workers feel more productive when working remotely
  • 32.2% of managers have seen an increase in productivity thanks to remote working
  • 16% of US businesses operate without physical premises
  • 68% of US workers prefer remote working
  • 85% of managers recognize remote working teams as the future
  • 21% of employees would surrender some vacation time in exchange for flexible working
  • 50% of current remote workers started remote working during the pandemic
  • 53% of remote workers like the flexibility of working from home
  • 25% of remote workers feel unable to unplug
  • Spending on cloud-based conferencing will be $5 billion in 2023

Top Remote Work Statistics in 2024

1. Before The Pandemic Just 6% Of Workers Were Remote

Remote Work

Before covid-19 just 6% of the population worked remotely all the time.

In fact, only 25% of workers did any type of remote working. 

That means, pre-pandemic, 75% of workers had no experience of working from home.

The truth was it wasn’t an option and wasn’t something that most employees even thought to ask about.

Remote working didn’t appear to offer any benefit to the business or the employee. 

Naturally, the pandemic changed the figures and many people discovered the joy of working from home, which is why there’s an increased number of remote workers post-pandemic.

(NCCI)

2. In 2023 27% Of US Workers Are Doing So Remotely

The pandemic forced employers to find ways to make systems work and continue trading.

The most obvious solution for many businesses was to get employees remote working. 

Employers had no idea how successful remote working would be or that 27% of workers would still be remote working in 2023.

It’s worth noting that 35% of remote workers are women and 38% are college graduates.

In contrast, just 17% of people without a college degree managed to work from home during the pandemic.

This trend is likely to continue as research suggests that, by 2025, over 36 million Americans will be working remotely.

There were just seven million remote workers before the pandemic. 

(Gartner)

3. An Impressive 40% Of Workers Feel More Productive When Working Remotely

The majority of remote workers expect their employer to continue supporting remote work in one form or another.

This isn’t surprising when you realize that 40% of workers feel that they are more productive when working remotely

In fact, in most cases this is actually true.

While being at home allows you to leave your desk and do other chores, you also have fewer office-based distractions. 

The net result is increased focus and better productivity.

This is further backed up as 94% of remote workers feel their productivity is the same or better than before they worked remotely. 

Statistics show that employees who work remotely are generally 22% more productive!

(Gartner)

4. 32.2% Of Managers Have Seen An Increase In productivity Thanks To Remote Working

Different businesses have their own methods of measuring productivity.

However, the VentureBeat survey of employers showed that 32.2% of managers felt productivity had increased thanks to remote working. 

An impressive 68% of businesses came to the same conclusion when reviewing company productivity.

It is believed that the improved productivity isn’t just a result of more focus and fewer distractions.

It’s also because employees feel they have a better work-life balance. 

This is demonstrated in various surveys, such as 57% of employees feeling less stressed and a 56% reduction in employee absences. 

(VentureBeat)

5. 16% Of US Businesses Operate Without Physical Premises

Before the pandemic hit, statistics show that 6% of US businesses were completely remote.

That means no office or physical base, all employees work remotely. 

This is a surprisingly effective approach and cost-efficient. 

Of course, many traditional businesses have been wary of encouraging remote working as they felt it would reduce productivity and make it harder for the team to communicate. 

The facts show this isn’t the case and, since the pandemic forced more people to work remotely, there has been a steep rise in businesses working completely remotely. 

As of 2023, 16% of US businesses are operating completely remotely.

This approach is working and more businesses are likely to follow suit. 

(Flexjobs)

6. 68% Of US Workers Prefer remote Working

The biggest issue with working remùotely is the loss of connection with colleagues.

Related:  Simple Tools For Screening Resumes For Viable Candidates

It’s no longer easy to share a coffee or talk in person.

The upside is an increase in productivity and more flexibility, providing the job gets done. 

Interestingly, for employees already established in a physical premise, the transition to remote working is simpler.

They can contact colleagues via messaging apps and retain the connection.

That’s why, a recent survey by wbur found 68% of US workers prefer to work remotely.

The benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. 

In fact, an impressive 23% of employees would take a pay cut to allow them to work remotely. 

(wbur)

7. 85% Of Managers Recognize Remote Working Teams As The Future

Remote Work

Although the pandemic has passed an increasing number of people continue to work remotely.

It’s convenient and can even help productivity. 

According to a recent SIA survey, 85% of managers recognize the benefits of remote working and see this as the way to conduct business in the future. 

These managers visualize remote working teams working together to achieve the best possible results for the business. 

Interestingly, 59% of workers would choose an employer that allows remote working versus one that doesn’t.

Alongside this, 74% of workers state if their employer offered remote working then they would be inclined to stay with them, even if another employer made a good offer. 

In short, the 85% of managers that see remorse working teams as the future are right, employers will end up with little choice if they want the best staff.

(SIA)

8. 21% Of Employees Would Surrender Some Vacation Time In Exchange For Flexible Working

Although many American employees get very little vacation time, 21% of them would be willing to give up some of that vacation time in exchange for flexible working rights. 

That’s how important remote working has become to many employees. 

Alongside this, 16% of employees would forego employer contributions to retirement funds, if it meant a more flexible working plan could be arranged. 

Considering employers already benefit from increased productivity, being able to reduce employer retirement contributions means a substantial cost-saving to the business.

That means bigger profits. 

(wbur)

9. 56% Of Current Remote Workers Started Remote Working During The Pandemic

Prior to the pandemic, 75% of workers had never worked remotely.

Now, the opposite is true and the majority of workers have been working from home. 

Over half of the current remote workers started working from home during the pandemic.

Interestingly, 21% of remote workers started within the last five years, (pre-pandemic). 

On top of this, a further 14% started working from home within the last ten years. 

In other words, 91% of remote workers have started within the last ten years, illustrating how much the internet has changed working patterns.

(Gallup)

10. 53% Of Remote Workers Like The Flexibility Of Working From Home

The most popular reason to work from home is flexibility. This is the reason given by 53% of people asked in the latest survey.

This is true across various countries, including the US, UK, Canada, and even Australia.

It’s hard to disagree as working from home leaves you free to handle essential chores as needed. 

The second most popular reason to undertake remote working is being able to ditch the commute.

This is followed by financial savings and then a variety of health options such as reduced stress and better well-being. 

(Buffer)

11. 25% Of Remote Workers Feel Unable To Unplug

Naturally, there are downsides to working from home.

The biggest issue isn’t the lack of personal connections, it’s being unable to unplug.

A recent study showed that 25% of remote workers feel unable to disconnect from work, in case they miss something.

Remote workers also fear unplugging reflects badly on their company commitment. 

This is a 7% rise from the same study conducted in 2020.

The second biggest issue facing remote workers is loneliness. 24% of remote employees experience this. 

(Insight)

12. Spending On Cloud-based Conferencing Will Be $5 Billion In 2023

The year before the pandemic businesses spent $2.7 billion on cloud-based conferencing software and associated equipment. 

In 2019, the year the pandemic arrived, this figure increased to $3.3 billion. 

However, during 2020 the figure increased significantly more.

Businesses spent an impressive $4.1 billion on cloud-based conferencing solutions. 

This trend has continued as businesses look to continue remote working.

The early systems are being replaced with better software choices, resulting in a predicted spend of $5 billion by UIS businesses in 2023 on cloud-based conferencing solutions. 

(TrustRadius)

Remote Working Concerns

Remote Work

The attitude of employers has changed dramatically in recent years.

Before covid-19 few employers encouraged remote working.

Today, four out of five US employers rate remote working as a successful way to run a business!

However, there are still concerns regarding remote working. 

Company Culture

Company culture is an essential part of the identity of any business.

Most employers still believe it helps to create relationships between employees and ensures customers see the business in a positive light. 

In fact, 95% of company executives feel that all employees should be in the office at least two to three days a week to maintain the company culture.  

Mental Wellbeing

Potentially a bigger concern is how remote working will affect employees.

It’s already been shown that 24% of remote workers experience loneliness, which can lead to mental health issues.

Naturally, experiencing any type of health issue will have a detrimental effect on productivity, loyalty, and even the customer service experience. 

That’s why most businesses that support remote working offer a variety of plans and techniques to help employees deal with any concerns they have.

Summing Up

These remote working statistics illustrate this approach to work is becoming more popular and there is little sign of this approach changing. 

While there will always be some employees that are needed at physical premises, the percentage of employees doing so is likely to decrease rapidly over the next five to ten years. 

That’s why 64% of businesses are increasing spending on web and video conferencing software and 70% of US businesses are looking at better collaboration tools for remote workers. 

In short, employees and employers are increasingly interested in remote working opportunities, the remote workplace isn’t going anywhere.

Sources

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Written by Colin Tan
Colin Tan is a tech entrepreneur and business leader with extensive experience in the technology industry. He is the Co-Founder of several successful tech startups that provide innovative solutions to businesses. Colin has a passion for creating disruptive technologies that can transform industries and drive growth.