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Remote working and hiring statistics (2022)

These are the answers to your most burning questions on remote working and hiring, answered with data.

September 29, 2020
Yuma Heymans
December 29, 2021
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We have reviewed the leading surveys in 2020, 2021 and 2022 on remote working. 

This list answers your most burning questions on remote working and remote hiring with the data we have found.

We have answered these questions:

  1. How many people are working remotely?
  2. What are the most important reasons people want to work remotely?
  3. Are remote workers more focussed?
  4. Do remote workers work more?
  5. Do remote workers have a better work/life balance?
  6. Does remote work impact your career?
  7. Is remote contributing to a sustainable world of work?
  8. Does remote working save money?
  9. What are the different types of remote working models?
  10. What are the demographics of remote workers?
  11. What are the most common challenges for remote workers?
  12. Do remote workers earn more?
  13. Does remote work help to attract and retain talent?
  14. How important is the right remote tooling?

1. How many people are working remotely?

During the pandemic, 95% of U.S. office workers worked from their homes for three or more days a week (1). Almost 70% of full-time workers are entirely working from home(3).

And remote workers are not planning to return to the office soon.

82% of them like to keep working remotely at least once per week after the pandemic is over (1).

The state of remote work reported even higher figures, 97.6% of the workforce said they would like to work remotely for the rest of their life, at least some of the time (2).

After Covid-19, 80% of people expect to work from home at least three times a week (3).

2. What are the most important reasons people want to work remotely?

Remote work is praised for several reasons.

State of work report 2021

The top 5 most important benefits reported by remote workers are:

  1. Flexible schedule (32%)
  2. Work from anywhere (25%)
  3. No commuting/travelling (22%)
  4. Spend time with family (11%)
  5. Work from home (8%)

3. Are remote workers more focussed?

Remote workers estimated that they gained around 35 working minutes a day due to fewer interruptions at their home as opposed to the office (1). That means remote workers gained about an additional 1.5 day per month in productivity

On the other hand, 62% of remote workers said that interruptions were still one of their top challenges working from home during Covid-19 (3), so being and staying focussed is still an important point of attention.

For 75% of people fewer distractions at home than in the office was an important reason to keep working from home (5).

4. Do remote workers work more?

On average, remote employees worked an extra 26 hours each month during COVID, nearly an extra day every week (3).

5. Do remote workers have a better work/life balance?

Remote workers generally indicate to have improved their work/life balance since they are working remotely.

The work related happiness score for remote employees is 75 out of 100, compared to 71 for in-office employees. Remote employees also are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs than office-based workers (57% vs 50%) (7).

77% of people agree that after COVID-19, being able to work from home would make them happier (3).

Remote workers report (1):

  • Better work/life balance (77%)
  • Improvement to their well-being, due to more sleep, less stress, etc. (69%)
  • Eating healthier (54%)
  • Exercising more often (48%)

70% of respondents said a permanent remote job would have a considerable improvement or positive impact on their mental health (5).

6. Does remote work impact your career?

57% of workers are not concerned that working remotely would impact their career progression. 43% of workers did fear that working remotely would impact their career progression (3).

7. Is remote contributing to a sustainable world of work?

Employees spend the equivalent of 28 days a year commuting (1), that’s a whole month in the year spent on just travelling to work.

Working remotely saves 40 minutes daily on commute (3).

Telecommuting reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an amount of about 600.000 cars (1).

8. Does remote working save money?

A typical employer can save $11.000 a year for each worker that works remotely 2 to 3 days a week (1).

By staying home half the time, a typical employee can save anywhere from $640 to $6,400 a year by reducing their spending on things like transportation, parking, gas, work clothes, food, and serendipity spending on things like impulsive lunchtime shopping, etc. (1).

It is estimated that people who work from home save $4,000 a year on average (5).

9. What are the different types of remote working models?

The two basic types of remote work are hybrid and full remote.

Hybrid is a broad term to describe a model in which employees work partly remote and partly in the office.

Full remote (or all remote), is when employees work entirely remotely, all the time, with the exception of company gatherings like parties, company trips or for example quarterly events.

There are a lot of additional types of remote work in between, like Remote Ok, Work From Anywhere, Synchronous Remote, Asynchronous Remote, Remote-first, Office-first.

Remote levels (source HeroHunt.ai)

16% of companies globally are full remote companies, 44% don’t allow remote work (3).

In 2021, 28% of professionals indicated that they will be fully remote in the next five years (by 2026), that number increased with 22.9% compared to a 2020 survey (4).

Small companies are 2x more likely to hire full-time remote workers (3).

In 2021, 70% of companies were planning to adopt the hybrid model (6). 

However, only 23% of remote workers state that their employer covers the cost of a coworking space membership as of yet (1).

The hybrid model is more popular with employees, The majority prefers a hybrid model with on average 2.5 days a week remote work. Only 19% say they want to work fully remote (1). 

10. What are the demographics of remote workers?

Around 62% of employees aged 22 to 65 say they work remotely at least occasionally (3).

86% of computer or math related jobs have adopted remote work, the industry with the highest percentage of remote work (8).

11. What are the most common challenges for remote workers?

‍The top three challenges for remote workers are (2):

  1. Not being able to unplug, an issue commonly referred to as ‘always on’, because work is always accessible (online)
  2. Difficulties with collaboration and communication, due to many factors under which lack of body language and spontaneous encounters
  3. Loneliness, a side effect of remote working that for some people can lead to feelings of depression
The State of Remote Work 2021

12. Do remote workers earn more?

The average annual income of remote workers is $4.000 higher than the salary of non-remote workers (5). This could however have to do with the type of jobs, remote jobs are most common tech companies where salaries are high on average.

2020 saw a 65% increase in remote workers making over $100K (3).

13. Does remote work help to attract and retain talent?

74% of workers say that having a remote work opportunity would make them less likely to leave a company (3).

1 in 2 people won't return to jobs that don't offer remote work (3).

58% would “absolutely” look for a new job if they cannot continue remote work. 10-20% would take a pay cut to keep working remotely (5).

79% of workers are more loyal to their employer if they get flexible work options (5).

14. How important is the right remote tooling?

57% of workers say that audio quality of video conferencing is a challenge working from home, and 56% said the video quality was a challenge (3).

26% of workers say virtual meeting tools make them more effective as a remote worker (3).

The global video conferencing market size is predicted to grow from $5.32 billion (2019) to US$10.92 billion (2027) and the global collaboration software market will grow from$13.44 billion (2019) to $35.71 billion (2027) (9).

References used for this article

  1. The Business Case for Remote Work 2021 (Global Workspace Analytics)
  2. The State of Remote Work 2021 (Buffer)
  3. State of remote work 2020/2021 (Owl Labs)
  4. Future Workforce Report 2021 (UpWork)
  5. Remote work survey 2021 (FlexJobs)
  6. US Flexible Working Policies & Practices Survey 2021 (Mercer)
  7. CNBC|SurveyMonkey Workforce Happiness Index (2020)
  8. Gallup's remote-worker trend (2021)
  9. Fortune Business Insights (2021)

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