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Remote work, virtual work, telecommuting — whatever you call it, nearly everyone can agree that remote work is changing the global workplace. Millions of workers now crave and demand flexible work options. And companies are heeding the call, with many seeing the value in offering remote work options to employees.
We took a closer look at remote working statistics in 2021 to see exactly how this workplace phenomenon is changing the career landscape. These 15 telecommuting statistics prove that remote work won’t be going away anytime soon.
Remote work statistics and trends you need to see
Let’s dig into the top top remote working statistics in 2021 to find out how many workers are telecommuting, how flexible arrangements impact productivity, and more.
1. Remote work has grown 140% since 2005
There’s no denying that remote work arrangements have taken the world by storm. According to a study by Global Workplace Analytics, non-self-employed remote workers has grown 140% since 2005. That’s 10 times faster than the rest of the workforce. Between 2017 and 2018, telecommuting saw a 22% increase.
2. One in three employees would switch jobs to work remotely
Remote work is becoming one of the most sought after benefits for people searching for a job. A study by Gallup found that nearly 33% of American employees would change jobs for more flexible work. Some estimate that 21% of people would even be willing to give up vacations in exchange for flexible work options.
3. 28% of remote companies have women CEOs, founders, or presidents
Women are leading the charge when it comes to remote work. A study conducted by Remote.co found that women have more leadership roles in remote companies than in traditional brick-and-mortar ones. As of 2017, women only made of 5.2% of CEOs in S&P 500 companies, but remote work arrangements might help equal the playing field.
4. Remote workers are 13% more productive than traditional office workers
Working from home productivity statistics reveal that flexible work arrangements help employees get stuff done. A nine-month-long Stanford study found that remote workers took fewer sick days and breaks and were 13% more productive than their in-office counterparts. Remote workers can work during their most productive hours and are subject to fewer distractions than what they would experience in an office.
5. 65% of remote workers feel the productivity boost, too
These working from home productivity statistics don’t just come from studies, either. The majority of remote workers feel that they are more productive than their in-office counterparts. Fewer distractions, improved engagement, and less stress are just a few reasons for boosts in productivity at home. Only 3% of people surveyed by FlexJobs felt that they were less productive, and 32% felt they feel the same between home and the office.
6. Companies that support a work-at-home policy could see 10% increase in employee retention
Work-life balance starts with flexible work options. By providing employees the autonomy to work where and when they want, employers can expect to see massive spikes in employee retention. A study by Gartner found that by supporting a flexible work culture, employee retention rates could increase 10% by 2020.
7. Remote workers could save up to $7,000 per year
Global Workplace Analytics found that, on average, remote workers save between $2,000 and $7,000 a year. The major areas where remote workers see significant savings are:
- Transportation: The average American spends at least 26 minutes commuting to work. This commute includes gas and wear and tear on the car (or public transport fees), not to mention the cost of your time. Remote workers don’t have these additional costs of going to and from work.
- Food: Remote workers aren’t tempted to spend big bucks on group lunches, restaurants, or afternoon trips to the vending machine. These small temptations add up over the course of a year.
- Clothing: Many offices have switched to a casual dress code, but yoga pants and a T-shirt still won’t cut it in an office environment. Remote workers have the luxury of working in their regular clothes all week long.
- Child Care: While remote work probably won’t eliminate the need for childcare, the flexibility may allow parents to cut it down to part-time and save a lot of money as a result.
8. Companies can save up to $11,000 per employee per year
It’s not just the employee who can save money. The cost of running a business is high, and physical offices are paying for rent, electricity, water, property insurance, office snacks, office supplies, and much more. By hiring remote workers, many of these costs are reduced or eliminated. It’s estimated that companies could save up to $11,000 a year for each employee.
9. 63% of employees believe the 8-hour work day will disappear
As remote working continues to grow in popularity, it’s no wonder that the 8-hour work day will become a thing of the past. With most remote workers citing increased productivity and engagement, they can accomplish more (and better) work in less time. That reality, along with the fact that many remote workers can set their own hours, will firmly close the door on traditional workdays.
10. Remote workers are 24% more likely to be happy
A study conducted by Owl Labs found that many workers feel that even one day of remote work can leave them feeling happier. Among respondents, 86% of people believe that working remotely alleviates stress and improves general well-being and health.
11. Remote work could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons each year
Remote work isn’t just great for employees and companies — it’s great for the environment, too. By getting people off the roads, over 119 billion miles of highway driving and 640 million barrels of oil could be saved. We can look forward to more positive effects on the environment as remote work continues to grow.
12. 84% of telecommuters work at home
While remote workers have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world, most don’t get past their front door. A 2019 study found that 84% of people work at home, 8% at coworking spaces, and 4% at cafes.
13. 1 in 3 remote workers are freelancers
With freelancing on the rise, many have sought to measure exactly how many people are taking advantage of the gig economy. An online investment company, Betterment, estimates that more than 33% of workers are freelancing. Intuit predicts that by 2020, the gig economy will make up 43% of the American workforce.
14. 70% of workers telecommute at least some of the time
IWG, a remote workspace provider, estimates that 70% of the global workforce works remotely at least once a week. While other studies estimate the number is closer to 52%, there’s no denying the remote work is popular across the world.
15. 35% of employees believe remote work provides higher quality employment opportunities
Owl Labs’ study also found that remote work creates higher quality opportunities. By removing geographical restrictions during a job search, job seekers literally have a world of exciting opportunities at their fingertips.
What will remote working statistics of 2021 look like next year?
These remote work statistics leave no doubt that telecommuting is the future. While there are some challenges to working remotely, most would agree that the positives far outweigh the negatives for employees and employers alike.
Through remote work, employees can lead happier, more productive lives, at home and at work, and employers can reap the benefits of increased employee retention, enhanced productivity, and lower costs. As research on telecommuting continues to grow, we can expect to see more positive remote work trends and statistics in the years to come.