Get to know the evolution of remote work with our deep dive into statistics from Buffer, Forbes, Zippia, McKinsey, and other thought leaders.
The global work culture took a massive turn during the pandemic. But if that change caught some of us by surprise back then, people mostly agree where we are headed now.
Employees want and need more flexibility at work. Failing to receive that flexibility is sometimes the main reason why experts leave their current companies and go looking for greener pastures.
Alexis Ohanian, founder of Reddit, said that "Remote work is the future of work."
Remote work has proved to be beneficial not only for employees, but for their employers as well — doing it right leads to reduced company costs and a happier workforce.
Mark Lobosco, VP of Talent Solutions at LinkedIn, believes that “Now that companies have built the framework – and experienced the cost and time savings associated with it – there’s no real reason to turn back.”
In this article, we're going to go through the status quo of remote work, why people are so positive about it, what they need to beware of, and what companies can get by introducing some of these future-proof practices into their work culture.
Before the pandemic hit, the concept of working remotely or embracing asynchronous work was at the start of its growth. You would generally work remotely in a specific type of business or a specific role, like a customer support representative. However, when the world woke up to lockdowns, almost everyone went remote.
But the silver lining to those global lockdowns didn't take long to show — people were quick to recognize all the benefits that come with remote work.
If you look at pre-pandemic vs post-pandemic remote working statistics, it's clear as day that there is a causal link between COVID-19 and the rapidly evolving work culture.
Having experienced the level of trust and transparency that comes with the rising statistics on remote work, more and more people are showing interest in having at least 1 day remote available, or going for a fully remote option altogether. This means that when looking for new opportunities, people automatically prioritize those that will save them time on their commute and bring more flexibility into their work days.
What's more, people enjoy remote work so much that they are willing to compromise with their employers, giving up a cut of their salary, vacation time, or some other perks that they are ready to deprioritize.
The 'State of Remote Work' research by Owl Labs found that 46% of employees are ready to give up 5% of their paycheck to be able to work from home at least sometimes.
According to a survey by FlexJobs, 24% of people are ready to sacrifice between 10% and 20% of their salaries to be able to work from wherever as much as they want.
Bloomberg found that if a company is not willing to consider remote work today, 39% of their employees will be likely to change jobs.
McKinsey also conducted research into the way people feel about flexible work and discovered several essential things:
Where there is demand, there is supply.
Because so many professionals prefer working remotely, or ask for at least some flexibility in their work, the job market changes to meet their needs. In recent years, more and more jobs were made remote by default or would at least offer the option to work remotely when the employee wants that.
In the US alone, remote jobs already make 15% of all work opportunities, Zippia found.
In 2021, LinkedIn published data saying that the number of remote job ads went up by 457%.
Although remote work is mostly discussed based on the perks it holds for employees, it is also a solid business development strategy for companies. One that promises to save budgets, increase employee productivity and retention, decrease turnover rates, expand hiring options, and generally create a people-positive culture.
A research by FlexJobs found that remote workers are 35%-40% more productive than their office counterparts. And you can often attribute it to the fact that people have fewer interruptions when they work from home.
81% of people also said that they would be more loyal to their employer because working remotely gives them that work-life balance they need and decreases the time they spend every month commuting to their workplace.
Finally, a study by Global Workplace Analytics found that an average American employer saves up to $11,000 per each half-remote employee every year. The savings come from reduced absenteeism, lower real estate costs, increased productivity, etc.
Runn was also fully aware of the perks of remote work from day one. Here's what Rowan Savage, our CTO, has to say about that:
“Runn is headquartered in Wellington, New Zealand - a city of just 300,000 people. We recognized that, to hire and attract the talent we wanted at Runn, we’d need to be open to hiring and having staff around the globe. By looking globally with our hiring, we’ve opened up to a world of almost 8,000,000,000 people. The talent we have access to increases exponentially.”
Being able to work from home or from any other environment one chooses reduces stress and gives people the freedom of choice. They can create the kind of work setting that makes them feel empowered and positively stimulated to perform.
For 70% of people, participating in meetings remotely instead of having to do that face to face is less stressful, while 82% say that this work-from-home setting is better for their mental health.
In their research in 2022, FlexJobs found that 84% of people feel that remote and hybrid work modes make them a happier person, 48% said they have a good work-life balance, while 54% said they get a good level of emotional support.
Remote work is for many, but not for everyone. It requires a high level of self-discipline, seniority in your role, trust, and transparency from the employer. For remote work to work, you need to be able to overcome the not-so-unexpected challenges that go hand in hand with it, such as communication issues, loneliness, unnecessary meetings and check-ins, lack of motivation, etc.
Here are a few numbers to support that claim.
Want it or not, being in an office job kills a lot of time and steals your productivity hours. It starts with the time you take to get ready for work, then commute to the office, and go through the same challenges when you go home and try to decompress.
But when those things are out of the picture, people have more time at their disposal, feel more energized when they start working, and generally need less time to get the rest they require. Today many professionals expect remote work because they know just how much of a boon it can be for their performance outputs.
Research by MerchantSavvy found that 13% of employees are more productive when working from home and they tend to request fewer days off. At the same time, FlexJobs found that 91% of people show an increase in employee morale when given the option to enjoy a flexible workload schedule.
Research by Robert Walters found that 29% of employees get more work done by using the time they would normally spend commuting on their work tasks instead, while 45% generally feel that they manage to get more work done when working from home.
There are lots of aspects to the culture of remote work, and the reason why working remote statistics have only been going up lies in the fact that everyone finds their own reason to leave the office.
For some people, it is about the time they spend on commute or lunch, while for others it is about the extra time they get to spend with family. Someone will be looking for remote jobs because they love the trust and transparency involved, while others will go for it because of the increased number of job opportunities that become available once you expand your search horizons.
Here's what data can tell us about this.
The fact that remote work is here to stay is not just self-evident — it is an understatement.
Remote work is here to transform the way people look at productivity, community building at work, career success, work-life balance, and a lot of other things our work can impact, directly or indirectly.
The benefits of remote work, such as increased productivity, cost savings, and improved work-life balance, are undeniable. By embracing remote work, companies can attract top talent from around the world, create more inclusive work environments, and increase employee morale and loyalty, while generally building a stronger workforce.
It might not be the perfect solution for every business or every worker, but the advantages of remote work are hard to ignore. As we move forward, it's important for companies to embrace the flexibility and autonomy that remote work provides and work together to create a more connected, productive, and sustainable workforce.
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