The Covid-19 pandemic sparked the world's greatest remote work experiment, advancing a long-term trend toward flexible work arrangements, remote work, and digitalization.
In the United States alone, the percentage of persons working from home increased from 5% to 37% during the pandemic's peak. As we emerge from the crisis, businesses are experimenting with new kinds of remote employment.
These days, even with some companies opening up to let in-company working possible, Work From Home is here to stay, as the workers are opting for it or the Hybrid method where they can do WFH for 2-3 days in a week and the rest they could do from their office.
So, what can we say about remote work these days? What has changed?
We'll let the facts speak for themselves and present 20 remote work statistics to assist you in better grasping the current situation of remote work.
Key Work-From-Home Statistics You Need to Know
Following are the most recent statistics related to recent remote work-from-home scenarios and changes concerning the hybrid method.
We will cover many sections and analyze what these statistics mean for your business and what you can do to incorporate a smooth working environment for your employees.
Remote Workers Population
- 57% of employees say they prefer working remotely compared to hybrid or in-office. (Owl Labs)
Employee expectations and behavior have been irreversibly changed due to the pandemic. Even though hybrid methods are optional, some prefer to continue remote working due to their various benefits and personal preference.
- After the pandemic, employees working remotely for 5+ days a week (full-time) went from 17% to 44%. (Statista)
Thanks to the advantages and convenience of working from home, the percentage of people working 5+ days and their productivity increased significantly post-pandemic.
- 97% of remote workers want to keep working remotely (at least some of the time) for the rest of their careers. (Buffer)
Most respondents strongly recommend remote work and wish to continue doing so even as companies start opening up.
- Almost half of the people don’t want a return to jobs if they don’t offer remote work as an option. (Owl Labs)
Nearly 1 in 2 people said that if they were no longer able to work remotely, they would start looking for another job that offered more flexibility in when they worked, with men saying they would quit nearly 60% more than women.
- 25% of workers say they would quit their job if they could no longer work remotely, even after the pandemic. (Owl Labs)
With the convenience of working from home and its pros, people will want to continue remote working.
So regardless of how great the WFH policies have worked, we could see companies going back to work on-site. In contrast, some still keep leveraging the benefits of working remotely.
How Companies are Handling Remote Work
- 40% of employers provided a one-time payment to employees for work from home expenses. And 35% of employers provided a monthly stipend (Owl Labs).
Many companies (especially those not in Software) can’t operate 100% remotely. So what they do is send a part of their team to the office to attend to physical matters while the rest work from their homes.
- 71% said it’s easier to present on a video call than in person (Owl Labs)
Video calling is a convenient and preferred meeting and presentation method, taking advantage of the latest technology and tools. Companies provide high-quality tech to their workers to make use of the same.
- 60% of companies have a mix of full-time remote workers and office workers. While 30% of companies work full remotely. (Buffer)
Over 60% of respondents indicated their companies have a split between employees working out of an office and employees who work remotely.
Now, while in the rush of adapting home offices, most companies don’t care to cover all the associated expenses of having a remote setup, such as reliable internet, desks, and recurrent costs.
This was the case initially, but over time, it can be seen that companies have provided monthly stipends and incentives. This is a good practice to cover your employee’s remote set up to make it easier for them to build an efficient home office where they can work properly. And not from a budget living room setup.
Remote Work Productivity and Other Benefits
- 90% of people say they are at the same or higher productivity level while working from home compared to the office (Owl Labs)
According to Owl Labs' study, the myth that remote work is less productive has repeatedly been busted. Most surveyed affirm that their productivity stayed the same or even improved when shifting to WFH, including the video meetings.
- 70% of remote workers agree that the ability to work remotely would make them less stressful, and 71% report that they prefer remotely working to present their works and meetings (Owl Labs)
In fact, according to another report, the companies that already had remote workers before the pandemic are increasing their productivity. This, because they had already figured out how to manage remote employees effectively, gave them an advantageous edge over the rest of the companies forced to adapt.
- People express that they are seeing 67% more flexibility in how they spend their time, striking a work-life balance (Buffer)
It is also a known benefit that working from home reduces employee stress and helps them manage their work-life balance according to their needs. This might be because of the ability to work under flexible schedules, work from anywhere, and there’s less perceived pressure at home than on-site.
Challenges When Working from Home
- 20% of professionals are worried about working more than just their day’s share. (Buffer)
Professionals are more worried about overworking than meeting their deadlines. Because of the convenience of WFH, people sometimes lose the work-life balance and tend to take on more work than normal and end up working more than they normally should be. Businesses must keep an eye on each individual’s work intake and monitor them.
- 30% of men and 21% of women reported working 2+ extra hours per day while working from home (Owl Labs)
It is no surprise that people are working extra time during remote work, but the gender bias is also there. Companies should strive to reduce the extra work time while also destroying this bias.
- The three biggest challenges associated with remote work are unplugging after work (25%), loneliness (24%), and communication (17%) (Buffer)
The most significant challenge is being able to disconnect from work after their working hours are complete. Apart from that, many remote employees battle with loneliness and the hampered communication and collaboration that come with not working alongside peers.
- 70% said it’s often or always difficult to contribute or be part of a conversation when on video calls, 72% said they couldn’t tell who’s speaking, 63% can’t see people’s faces (Owl Labs)
While WFH enables an easier way to connect with people through video calls, some still find it difficult. The numbers show the clear difficulty in communication some face, which could be overcome by providing better video calling tools and equipment.
Security Aspects of WFH
- 54% of IT experts believe that remote employees constitute a larger security risk than typical employees. (OpenVPN)
Remote employees rely on technology and the internet to perform their jobs, yet the reality is that they are always vulnerable to cyber-attacks. That is why remote team managers must give cyber-security training and ensure that remote personnel has the proper software to safeguard their laptops, such as a VPN.
- 40% of employees have experienced mental exhaustion from video calls while working remotely. (Twingate)
While 58% of introverts find being on camera tiresome, many extroverts (40%) and those with balanced or adaptable personalities (37%) report having the same experience. Constant video calls through monitors can naturally cause burnout and exhaustion in the long run.
- 58% of employees reported discussing sensitive information on work video calls. And over 1 in 10 employees had their video calls hacked while working remotely. (Twingate)
What’s worrying about the WFH trend are the cybersecurity issues that remote workers face right now. According to the Twingate study, 10% of employees had their video calls hacked, while half shared sensitive information on meeting calls. This only adds to the frustration people face while making video calls.
- 46% of users responded that their security approach was seldom modified significantly following intrusions, although many firms did not sufficiently manage or safeguard their privileged user accounts. (Researchgate)
The numbers show that companies need to develop their cybersecurity by implementing advanced measures to protect the user and client data.
- The total data breach added to nearly $137,000 in cost. (Iron Mountain)
The findings emphasize implementing sophisticated security measures, particularly for businesses that handle personally identifiable information (PII), such as credit card data and health records.
Due to this issue, some telecommuters have purchased a VPN to increase their security, which might mitigate the problem but not solve it completely.
It’s quite critical to invest in cybersecurity products and services when managing a remote team or your company might face some cybersecurity problems.
Remote Working is the New Norm
Taken together, these numbers demonstrate that remote employment is here to stay. Working from home has been increasing for over two decades, with no clear ending.
That is not to say that it is without its share of difficulties. This is especially true for some businesses, such as transportation. However, it also has tremendous potential in other areas.
Today, it is more critical than ever to consider all of your alternatives. Remote working may benefit your business, from cost savings to employee diversification. Additionally, it might provide you with much more freedom and flexibility than you've ever had as an employee.
WFH flexibility promotes work-life balance, but it also communicates that employees are appreciated as individuals when recruiting fresh talent. It displays the employer's adaptability and empathy, two attributes that can draw and retain professionals.
As technology progresses at a breakneck speed and an increasing number of businesses and employees see the numerous benefits of telecommuting, it becomes clear that remote work is here to stay. And these data on remote work are proof!