46 Remote Work Statistics Employers Need to Know

10 min read
Frank L.
Frank L.
Published September 15, 2022

By the end of 2022, it's estimated that 25% of all job vacancies will be remote. Apart from the improvement in work-life balance and increased benefits, remote work has the potential to be advantageous for both companies and employees.

However, old concerns remain for management, while the younger employees embrace change and drive improvements. Here's what the figures show.

Remote Work Appears to Be Increasing Productivity

Most employees agree that working remotely has given them ownership over their time and productivity.

  1. 64% of survey respondents agree that remote work has improved their productivity. (The Future of Work Report, Zapier, 2022)

  2. 90% of employees state their productivity working remotely is the same as it was in the office or has improved. (The State of Remote Work Report, Owl Labs, 2021)

  3. 44% of workers who can do their jobs from home agree that doing so has made it easier for them to meet deadlines. (COVID-19 Pandemic Continues To Reshape Work in America, Pew Research, 2022)

  4. 27% of managers say that the act of measuring productivity accelerated as the number of remote employees increased. (The State of Remote Work Report, Insightful, 2022)

  5. Only 36% of remote managers are concerned about their employees' productivity, while 36% worry about the level of focus of their employees. (The State of Remote Work Report, Owl Labs, 2021)

Remote Work Can Boost Employee Engagement 

Although remote workers are physically distant from the office, remote work seems to be positively impacting the level of engagement.

  1. 81% of hybrid employees are highly engaged, closely followed by 78% of fully remote employees feeling engaged. (The State of Remote Work Report, Quantum Work Report, 2021)

  2. When remote employees are given the right tools and resources to work from home, their engagement is likely to double. (The State of Remote Work Report, Quantum Work Report, 2021)

  3. When employers set clear goals and expectations for their employees, those "employees are 2.8 times more likely to be highly engaged." (The State of Remote Work Report, Quantum Work Report, 2020)

Remote Work Improves Employee Satisfaction 

Studies show that the majority of remote workers feel remote jobs have improved their overall job satisfaction. The heightened levels of satisfaction have even turned almost all remote workers into advocates of remote work for others.

  1. 97% of remote workers would recommend remote work to their peers and would like to continue working remotely. (2022 State of Remote Work, Buffer, 2022) 

  2. 91% of respondents agree that the flexible hours of remote work contribute to their level of happiness at work. (The Future of Work Report, Zapier, 2022)

  3. 84% of employees agree that being able to work remotely after the pandemic would improve their happiness. Some employees are willing to take a pay cut to remain remote. (The State of Remote Work Report, Owl Labs, 2021)

  4. 61% of remote workers agree that working remotely has had a positive effect on their savings. (The Future of Work Report, Zapier, 2022)

  5. 66% agree that remote work improves their ability to enjoy and balance their work and family life. (The Future of Work Report, Zapier, 2022)

  6. 62% of workers agree that remote work improves their morale. (The Future of Work Report, Zapier, 2022)

  7. Companies that are perceived by remote workers as fully transparent have a 12 times higher level of job satisfaction than those who believe their company is not transparent. (Future Forum Pulse Summer Snapshot, Future Forum, 2022)

Remote Work Employee Demographics Are Unequal

Surveys show that although the number of remote workers is on the rise, the change isn't necessarily equal across all demographics. Remote work is more accessible to younger generations and those from middle-class backgrounds. Older workers and people with limited technology and internet access at home are struggling to be a part of this changing workforce.

The reasons for accessing remote work also vary depending on personal circumstances and environments.

  1. 44% of respondents who identify with a chronic illness or disability say their personal circumstances are the main reason they seek the flexibility remote work offers. (2022 State of Remote Work, Buffer, 2022)

  2. 76% of working parents or guardians agree they seek remote work due to the flexibility it offers them. (2022 State of Remote Work, Buffer, 2022)

  3. The opportunity for remote work opportunities differs between genders, with 61% of people identifying as male being offered remote work opportunities compared to only 52% of people identifying as female. (Americans are embracing flexible work---and they want more of it, McKinsey, 2022)

  4. The difference in opportunity is shown at the income levels, with only 47-56% of workers earning less than $75,000 offered full remote or hybrid work compared to 64-75% of income earners above $75,000. (Americans are embracing flexible work---and they want more of it, McKinsey, 2022)

  5. 19% of 55-to-64 year-olds are choosing not to accept remote work compared to just 12-13% of the younger generations. (Americans are embracing flexible work---and they want more of it, McKinsey, 2022)

  6. 17% of lower-income workers are more likely to decline remote work compared to only 10% of workers earning above $75,000 a year. (Americans are embracing flexible work---and they want more of it, McKinsey, 2022)

Asynchronous Communication Is Key for Remote Workers

Most remote workers agree that communication is the most important feature for remote work to be successful and enjoyable, with most preferring asynchronous comms over video meetings.

  1. Around 51% of remote managers encourage the use of asynchronous communication. (The State of Remote Work Report, Insightful, 2022)

  2. 52% of employees prefer asynchronous communication for remote work, with only 14% of remote workers believing asynchronous communication should not be the primary method of communication. (2022 State of Remote Work, Buffer, 2022)

  3. Only 38% of companies encourage asynchronous communication over other forms of communication like email or meetings. (2022 State of Remote Work, Buffer, 2022)

  4. Over a third of remote workers would rather give up email than Slack or other collaboration tools. (The future is collaborative, Slack, 2021)

  5. 95% of Slack users agree that they prefer connecting and communicating with their team through Slack rather than video calls. (The future is collaborative, Slack, 2021)

  6. Remote workers say that over 40% of meetings could be replaced with asynchronous tools like Slack. (The future is collaborative, Slack, 2021)

Career Development Is a Concern for Remote Workers

Career development has a big impact on employee experience and motivation, with 94% of employees agreeing that support in learning and development would make them stay at a company longer.

However, employees are concerned that not being physically present in the office decreases their chances of promotion and career development.

  1. Executives are worried that remote work stops employees (especially juniors) from networking and learning from others. However, 55% of executives don't believe that career growth is more difficult for remote workers, with 14% believing that it actually makes career progression easier. (State of Remote Work, Buffer, 2022)

  2. In terms of career advancement, 29% of female-identifying people say remote work helps their career, and 41% are unsure whether remote work helps. In comparison, 26% of male-identifying workers believe it will help their career, with 37% not sure. (Women at Work - Insights, Fishbowl, 2022)

  3. Gen Z is more likely to agree to a salary based on their remote location. On the other hand, millennials, Gen X, and baby boomers are less likely to accept a salary based on their remote working location. (State of Remote Work, Buffer, 2022)

Remote Work Is Shielding Companies from the Great Resignation

Although most organizations have suffered from the "Great Resignation," companies that offer flexible work environments suffer the least when it comes to employee turnover. In fact, the majority of employees will leave their current job for the better work-life balance provided by remote work.

  1. 63% of job seekers said work-life balance is their top priority when deciding to accept a new job. (Global Talent Trends Report, LinkedIn, 2022)

  2. 59% of employees would consider quitting their job if their company did not offer them any remote working options. Interestingly, the majority (68%) of those willing to quit identify as female. (Remote Work Report, AnyDesk, 2022)

  3. 37% of companies agree that the Great Resignation has made finding talent quickly more difficult. (Future Workforce Report, Upwork.), 2022)

  4. 31% of remote organizations were negatively impacted by the Great Resignation compared to 49% of on-site organizations. (Future Workforce Report, Upwork.), 2022) ​​

Communication Is a Leading Challenge for Remote Work 

Communication is the leading frustration for remote workers. How a company adapts to remote technology and collaboration has a direct impact on an employee's ability to perform their work responsibilities.

  1. 70% of employees agree it's often or always difficult to contribute to a conversation through video calls. (The State of Remote Work Report, Owl Labs, 2021)

  2. Only 38% of companies have improved their video technology to improve collaboration and communication. (The State of Remote Work Report, Owl Labs, 2021)

  3. 61% of employees say their team works in a silo because everyone uses different tools. (The Remote Work Report, GitLab, 2021)

  4. 48% of employees say they lose time searching for materials and information. (The Remote Work Report, GitLab, 2021)

  5. Close to 50% of respondents feel that their remote working experience would improve if they had access to a faster and more reliable internet connection. (Remote Work Report, AnyDesk, 2022)

  6. Over 35% of respondents report experiencing IT issues at some point. (Remote Work Report, AnyDesk, 2022)

  7. 29% of remote workers say that their companies have not provided them with security guidelines or protocols. (Remote Work Report, AnyDesk, 2022)

Remote Workers Need Transparent Management

Although employees and employers might not share physical space, management still plays an important part in keeping employees accountable, informed, and aligned with their goals. This is fundamental for the relationship between managers and employees, as employees need a clear vision of their tasks and to feel supported when working remotely.

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  1. 30% of men and 21% of women report spending more than two extra hours working per day. However, only 11% of managers are worried about burnout. (The State of Remote Work Report, Owl Labs, 2021)

  2. Transparent communication and open knowledge help employers feel belonging. 34% of respondents say transparency from leadership leads improves their connection to work (The Remote Work Report, GitLab, 2021)

  3. 38% of employees agree that increasing visibility into the organization improves their sense of connection to the company. (The Remote Work Report, GitLab, 2021)

  4. 52% of the companies say that their transition to remote was smooth thanks to the amount of digital software available today. (The State of Remote Work Report, Insightful, 2022)

  5. Around 64% of managers say they lack the appropriate tools to manage the productivity of remote workers. (The State of Remote Work Report, Insightful, 2022)

Next Steps Now That You Have the Data

The insights on remote data make it clear that employees are happier and more productive and engaged working remotely. But managers need to implement tools, resources, and strategies to ensure that remote employees feel supported and fully engaged.  

How Can Employers Maintain Employee Productivity?

Employers can measure, monitor, and support their remote employees to be as productive as possible with access to the right tools and communication channels.

The proper tools can be the best communication channels, like Slack or Team, for your team to communicate asynchronously. And digital collaboration tools like MURAL are helpful for brainstorming and team-building.

Clear vision and goal expectations help employers keep remote workers accountable for their production and time. This, in turn, empowers employees to stay focused and prioritize their tasks.

How Can Employers Increase Remote Engagement?

Managers who encourage and appreciate their employees show support and recognize the work, feedback, and ideas an employee brings to the table. This drives repeat behavior that fuels employees to continuously engage with their peers and job.

Employers can provide remote team-building strategies to keep employees from feeling isolated and less engaged with their peers. Allocate time for remote team-building activities like virtual escape rooms, virtual cooking classes, or Zoom happy hours.

How Do Employers Improve Employee Satisfaction?

The biggest contribution to employee satisfaction is the flexibility that remote work offers to employees. As such, both employers and employees need to be on the same page regarding working hours, flexibility, and company policies. Communication is essential.

Employers can maintain strong levels of employee satisfaction through employee surveys and a culture where feedback is appreciated. Particularly for remote work, employees want to feel connected and part of a team where their opinions and ideas are valued and worked on.

What Should Employers Consider When Hiring Remote Employees?

Although remote work improves job satisfaction and productivity for most employees, not everyone agrees. Personal situations and circumstances dictate whether or not remote work is a perk or a burden.

When hiring remote employees, it's important to have measures in place that level the playing field for all employees to feel empowered and confident working from home. This means having the right work-from-home setup and onboarding resources to understand the tools used for communication and collaboration to prevent digital barriers. 

What Are Good Communication Practices for Remote Employees?

Managers can adopt practices and techniques to improve communication in the workplace by adapting strategies using asynchronous communication tools. For example, to keep all employees in the loop, make channels of communication open and public.

With open channels of communication, all the information is shared and accessible to every employee. This fosters a culture of transparency and accountability. Asynchronous work is flexible and inclusive and instantly provides feedback, which allows teams that are geographically distant to overcome time zone complications.

Employers can also use in-app communication tools to keep all the information centralized. This prevents information and materials from getting lost and helps employees access any knowledge and resources fast. 

How Can Managers Support Remote Employee Career Development and Minimize Staff Turnover?

Managers can enable employees to feel confident in their career development by giving clear next steps and development plans. Communicate KPIs and goals employees must achieve in order to develop into their next role.

Remote work career progression is more attainable and realistic for employees who are comfortable and confident having a conversation with their manager. That's why quarterly talks on career progression are important to give employees support for their career aspirations and a visible track of improvement for motivation.

It's clear that employees value flexible work dynamics to such a degree that they'd be willing to quit and look for another job if it's unavailable to them. As managers, it's a great opportunity to improve the employee experience and offer remote or hybrid options. This will likely decrease employee turnover, as well as attract top talent. 

What Can Remote Managers Do to Reduce Challenges?

Employers need to provide their workforce with cloud-based collaboration tools to improve teamwork and avoid siloed work. Moreover, communication is the biggest challenge for managers in the remote space. Using asynchronous communication tools improves collaboration and centralizes information. And, in-app chat helps teams to communicate and collaborate instantly with one another.

Management Needs to Adapt in Order to Succeed in the Remote Work Future

The future of work is clear: adapt to hybrid or remote environments or lose talent.

Companies that want to improve employee engagement and productivity need to give employees control over their time and quality of life. This starts by setting up a strong and supportive work environment.

From flexible working schedules to asynchronous methods of communication, employers need to equip their teams for success at home.

Managers are responsible for making sure their employees are supported and appreciated. Part of that comes with providing teams with the right tools, and another part is having open conversations about their goals and KPIs.

Doing so improves engagement and gives employees a visible goal to work toward. Not only that, but as transparency is highly regarded in the workplace, managers need to keep employees in the loop regarding their progress and career development tracks.

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