Remote work is no longer just a perk but a norm for most organizations!
2020 and 2021 became the years when the remote work trend reached its historical peak due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And yet the interest in flexible work arrangements isn’t going to decline in 2022 as well.
Something that had to be adapted with force under severe circumstances is turning out to be a choice for many. While some businesses can’t wait to resume the work from office culture, many more look at the future of work as remote or hybrid.
To back this up, let us tell you that a whopping 74% of people believe that flexible working has become the new normal.
But every coin has two sides, right?
Let’s dig deeper into how remote work has changed the lives of employees, employers, and organizations bit by bit with the help of statistics.
Remote Work Statistics on Highlight
The remote work graph changed drastically since the first wave of the pandemic. According to recent data, the number of employees working from home 5+ days per week rose from 17% to a spectacular 44% after COVID-19.
Let’s look at more such statistics that are on highlight for the year 2021:
- Over 26% of the workforce in the USA will be working remotely through 2021.
- 40% of people feel the most significant benefit of remote work is the flexible schedule.
- Remote employees save commuting time up to 40 minutes on a daily basis.
- Count of people who work from home in 2021 increased by 140% since 2005.
- 81% of those surveyed believe their employer will continue to support remote work after COVID-19.
- 76% of workers would be more willing to stay with their current employer if they could work flexible hours.
- 16% of companies exclusively hire remote workers.
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Remote Work: What Do We Know?
77% of people agree that after COVID-19, being able to WFH would make them happier (Owl Labs).
Since the grievous days where everyone wished for good health, employees’ physical and mental health has been of utmost importance for organizations. As the pandemic has pushed us towards a new approach towards working, employees find themselves having a better work-life balance when working from home. To back this up, let us tell you that 72% of all survey respondents agreed that the ability to work remotely would make them less stressed.
The number of people who work from home has increased by 140% since 2005 (Global Workplace Analytics).
As technology is growing, managing tasks is becoming easier day by day. Similarly, since 2005, technology has evolved from east to west, and gone are the days when working from home was impossible. Organizations are now looking at offering remote work as a permanent solution to avoid in-office expenses like cleaning, utility, food, taxes, etc. and at the same time gain increased productivity, and improved employee retention, with the help of office management software tools.
Telecommuting has grown 115% in the past decade (State of Telecommuting).
Remote work isn’t the future anymore; it’s the present we are living in right now. And all of this has been possible only because of the tremendous growth in telecommuting over the past years. By using the internet, mobile phone, and email, there is possibly nothing we can’t achieve by working from home.
Globally, 52% of workers work from home at least once every week (Owl Labs).
Before a few years, employees looked at the idea of remote work as a significant perk offered by only a few organizations. As time passed by, employees started to enjoy it more, and employers began experiencing its benefits. And with the COVID-19’s push, organizations didn’t have a choice but to experience the remote work culture.
Small companies are twice as likely to hire full-time remote workers (Owl Labs).
Almost everybody agrees that remote work culture saves a bunch of expenses for an organization. And with the help of remote tools for hybrid and remote teams, big organizations are already open to pursuing this model in the future. On the other hand, small companies active on their journey to make profits are twice as likely to hire full-time remote workers.
Parental leave is 23% more important to remote workers than it is to on-site workers (Owl Labs).
After a certain age, when employees start to settle with their families, they have more personal responsibilities to fulfill. They can no longer be open to moving to a random city because they have a lot of things to consider, such as their partner’s work life, their kids’ education, etc. This is the reason why employees with a family are more inclined towards getting a remote job.
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Remote Work: What Are the Benefits?
68% of people who work remotely logged improved performance due to fewer distractions (Flex Jobs).
It’s about time to declare that pandemic isn’t the only reason for employees to work from home. Organizations have experienced increased productivity from their employees since the COVID-19 pandemic, where one of the primary reasons is that employees have fewer distractions of coworkers, office noise, etc.
Remote workers save 40 minutes daily on the commute (Owl Labs).
60% of the employees usually spend more than an hour commuting to and from the office. With the rising remote work culture, employees have been able to save time at a tremendous scale. As we all know, time is money; employees can now utilize that time to work.
86% of people feel that remote work reduces stress (Flex Jobs).
Remote workers can eliminate commute stress, improve health, reduce work-life issues, etc., and this is just the start of the sea. Moreover, it can make employees feel closer to their comfort space which reinvents their way of working and can make them more productive.
Companies that allow remote work have 25% lower employee turnover than those that don’t (Owl Labs).
Remote working can be challenging at first but once settled, it can be highly beneficial for the employees as well as the employers. The more we have developed the habit of working remotely, the more employees are used to living like this for the rest of their work life. But just offering remote work won’t reduce your employee turnover. Make sure your employees are not overburdened and that your company’s culture keeps the employee satisfied.
77% of remote employees are more productive when they work from home (Connect Solutions).
The job market landscape is changing drastically. Organizations that never offered remote work culture to their employees have switched to working remotely forever. Studies have shown that remote employees take fewer sick leaves and get work done faster than employees in an office setting.
Remote work makes 81% of employees recommend their company to others (Owl Labs).
Obviously, when employees are happy with their work, they will go the extra mile and recommend it to friends and family. This job satisfaction comes from simply offering them to work from anywhere they like. These perks keep them closer to a sense of freedom, uplift them mentally, and make them want to recommend their company to others.
Remote Work: What Are the Challenges?
In a survey, 47% of respondents indicate managing at-home distractions as the biggest challenge of working remotely (Statista).
We look at remote work as the most productive working model, but no such approach is 100% efficient. Working remotely, especially from home, can also distract employees as our homes aren’t optimal workspaces. To avoid distractions, it is recommended to set rules around communication, turn off notifications, systematically schedule the day, and draw boundaries around your workspace.
18% of employees’ biggest struggle with remote work is to unplug from work (Buffer).
With all the benefits that we read about the remote work model, we don’t notice that the boundaries between an employee’s work life and personal life can seem blurry when working remotely. While 18% of employees already suffer from not being able to unplug from work, it’s highly advised to redefine the workspace and take enough rest when working remotely. Embracing emotional well-being and investing time in a hobby can work well in unplugging from work.
1 in 2 people won’t return to jobs that don’t offer remote work (Owl Labs).
People are used to the remote work flexibility and aren’t ready to give up even after the crisis passes. Because everybody is now aware that remote work is efficient, comfortable, and possible at all costs. While people settled with the remote culture, we didn’t realize that it’s all coming at a price. The price to pay is that it will be difficult for these people to get back to the offices five days a week.
The biggest struggle of 20% of remote employees is coping up with loneliness (Buffer).
As much as we uplift the idea of remote working, there are a few employees who miss working from the office. The physical distance between colleagues leads to employees believing they don’t have friends at work, or they aren’t significant to the company, etc. This feeling of loneliness leads to poor productivity, impacts mental health, and reduces employee engagement. The possible solutions to this would be conducting a collaborative remote onboarding, organizing team-wide meetings, deploying virtual icebreakers, etc.
35% of employees faced issues when collaborating with colleagues / clients (Statista).
Organizations’ primary issue when switching to a remote culture during the rise of COVID-19 was a total lack of coordination. Though it was the beginning, and employees and organizations were overwhelmed with such drastic changes. With the time passing by, it comes as a surprise that even after almost two years, there is still a lack of a well-planned collaboration strategy, and collaboration tools making 35% of employees face this issue while working remotely.
28% of remote employees claim work burnout as a major challenge (Statista).
Remote work culture is on the rise since the short vacation from the office turned out to be a complete workplace transition due to the pandemic. With the number of benefits it has, there are also a few details to consider around how employees’ work experience has changed drastically. The most important being 28% of employees report work burnout as a challenge which can medically lead to a litany of physical and mental conditions. A support environment should be harvested where employees should be assigned an appropriate amount of work in such situations.
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Work from Home or Not?
80% of remote workers prefer working remotely from home (Buffer).
While the idea of workations is hyped, a whopping 80% of people prefer to be close to their comfort space and loved ones. Working from anywhere might work out for some, but ones with families prefer working from home. It’s easier to have a work-life balance, manage to parent, and save on expenses. Also, working from home helps people rely more on self-discipline and self-motivation, which are crucial qualities to have in the long term.
15% of employees’ organizations allow work from home as and when needed (Buffer).
Since the pandemic, employees have stopped looking at working from home as a perk. It’s instead a necessity for employees in any corner of the world. At this time, organizations are trying their hands on permanent remote culture, hybrid culture, etc., and the least employees expect is to get the flexibility to work from home as and when needed. When and if we move past the COVID-19 life, it’s inevitable that work from home culture will become a norm even in the absence of fear of the pandemic.
39% of respondents in a survey claimed that spending time with their families was the most important perk of working from home (Statista).
Most people are already aware of the struggle of balancing work and personal life at once. With remote work, employees save their commute time and can utilize it for family-related things such as attending their kid’s school event, making breakfast for their family, etc. A report mentions that working from home can save an individual 11 days per year. It is also estimated that telecommuters can save $4,600 per year by working remotely. So other than time, people can also save on expenses by staying home.
25–30% of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week by the end of 2021 (Global Workplace Analytics).
The pandemic clearly killed the show up to the office culture in 2020, and businesses successfully learned the idea of trust and flexibility. It has stuck with tons of employees as well as employers and has proved to be profitable for both. While the statistic talks about employees working from home by the end of 2021, we can easily look at remote work culture to permanently integrate employees’ work lives even after the Covid era has passed.
1 in 4 full-time employees would be willing to take a pay cut of over 10% for the choice to work from home (Owl Labs).
Employees have started loving the work-from-home culture way too much, and the cherry on top is that now they are used to it. It all started as a precaution for COVID-19 but turned out to bring dozens of benefits such as increased flexibility, more productivity, and better work-life balance for the employees. Moreover, this culture is helping us move towards bridging the gender equality gap, welcoming diversity and inclusion, which makes it easier for people to get jobs from anywhere. In return for these newly experienced benefits, employees are willing to surrender a lot more than one expected.
77% of respondents agree that after COVID-19, having the option to work from home would make them happier (Owl Labs).
Working from home is way bigger than just a precautionary measure; instead, it’s the life we all live right now. Other than that, it’s an excellent motivation for 77% of people to continue being satisfied and productive at their job. As it is said, the level of one’s productivity is equally proportional to their happiness at work.
The more, the better!
For the company’s greater good, it’s wiser for organizations to give an option of working from home or setting up a hybrid work culture.
In the past, the idea of working from home was admired by many but adapted by only a few. The long-built habit of going to the office to work was so strong that organizations barely adapted to remote work culture despite growing technology. But COVID-19 did its job, and the time to embrace remote and hybrid teams is here!
Since the pandemic, a whole new set of possibilities, benefits, and challenges have been explored. For example, the data by Owl Labs indicates that remote employees worked about 26 hours extra each month during the pandemic. This calculates for nearly an extra day each week which is beneficial for the organization but not for the employee’s work-life balance.
There are more such situations that require attention, and the internet sources referred to in this post will help organizations and employees confront the ongoing and upcoming issues — it’s about time to relook and rethink the way we work and welcome remote and hybrid teams as they are here to stay!