Is remote work effective?

Although remote work opportunities have been around for quite a few years, there’s a lot of talk centered around remote work productivity statistics.

With so many people forced to work from home, it created a new wave of lifestyle changes across the world.

Even with the height of the pandemic being a thing of the past, many people have chosen to remain in a remote work position.

Overall, statistics show that people working from home are roughly 47% more productive than in an in-office environment.

Most of the current data comes from the last few years, but many individuals and employers question the productivity of a remote workforce.

It’s a space in the workforce that has become increasingly relevant.

This article will cover many different viewpoints on remote work productivity statistics covering the pre-covid era and the current state of the remote work lifestyle.

Remote Work Productivity Statistics

Key Statistics

  • Remote employees have proven to be 47% more productive
  • Those who work remotely have been shown to spend 10 minutes less a day being unproductive
  • Worker productivity in the U.S. has increased by 5% since the start of Covid-19
  • The average employee in the U.S. works from home around 5.8 days per month
  • 40% of employees admit to being more productive in a remote work setting

Productivity Has Been Better Than Ever

Remote Work Productivity Statistics

Before remote work became such a widespread norm, many people expected remote workers to be less productive.

Now that there are years of data to pull from, it’s evident that remote workers tend to be much more productive than traditional roles.

This comes as a surprise to many employers, but much of it concerns more comfortable working conditions and a better work-life balance.

Many people feel stressed with the cycle that comes from an office environment, but working from home gives them a bit more control over how they go about their day.

With some employers being stricter than others, you’ll find that part-time and full-time remote positions are becoming more common.

A lot of this has also become possible due to various applications that help keep team members together and on track with the work at hand.

Of course, the truth lies in the numbers, and you can find more detail about this topic in the statistics listed throughout this article.

Pre-Covid Era

Statistics on remote work have changed a lot in the last few years.

If you take a look at 2019, 24% of employees worked remotely, while 82% were consistently at their place of business.

The industries that were most likely to provide work-from-home options were financial operations, management, and business at 37%.

Professional occupations also fit this category sitting at 33%.

Statistics also vary based on whether a task is considered boring or more creative.

For example, distractions at home are more of an issue when employees are handling work they don’t particularly like.

This issue flips entirely when it comes to creative tasks, as remote workers have shown to be more productive when dealing with fewer constraints on their creativity.

It’s important to note that are plenty of pros and cons when it comes to remote work.

There has to be a middle ground to ensure the productivity of employees, and it’s known that not all industries are built for a remote workforce.


After the Pandemic

Whereas data from 2012 shed a negative light on remote work, this sentiment has changed in our modern world, and this is due to a number of reasons.

Thanks to easier methods of communication and monitoring tasks and workflows, remote employees have shown an increase in productivity.

During the first six months of stay-at-home orders at the beginning of 2020, a study showed that the productivity of remote employees remained stable or increased.

This is compared to data recorded in 2019.

More specifically, since March of 2020, Prodoscore reports that there has been a 47% increase in the productivity of remote workers.

Interestingly, the most productive days from this data are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday between 10:30 am and 3:00 pm.

A lot of the past issues with remote work regarding productivity and communication have been solved thanks to modern CRM software solutions.

Data from 2020 also shows that remote employees tend to avoid work responsibilities less.

Although they ended up taking more breaks throughout the day, they also worked 1.4 more days every month.

There’s enough data to highlight that many people excel when they’re left to their work without management over the shoulder at all hours of the day.

Many remote employees spend 30 minutes less focusing on non-work topics, including 7% less time speaking with management. 

Society won’t see a full shift to a remote working culture, but many companies are adopting a hybrid model to get the best of both worlds.

Some companies that have adopted this culture include Microsoft, Splunk, and Affirm.

However, these same companies have encountered new challenges in trying to maintain consistent productivity with a hybrid work culture over time.


What are the Downsides?

As mentioned earlier, remote work can come with a few downsides affecting employees and the companies they work for.

Depending on the type of work and employer, the potential downsides can vary from minimal to much more substantial.

Below is a list of some common issues that are found with a remote workforce.

  • Around 30% of remote workers don’t have access to important in-office equipment
  • A common issue for 19% of remote employees is the feeling of isolation
  • 40% of remote workers struggle with managing distractions and concentration
  • Bad posture is a common problem for roughly 23% of remote employees

Of course, it isn’t all bad, as current statistics have highlighted many benefits of a remote workforce.

Better yet, these benefits can be found on both sides of the coin, as workers and their employers can benefit from the right workforce strategy.


The Benefits of Working From Home

For many years, the benefits of remote work weren’t really clear, as it wasn’t as much of a norm in the corporate world.

That has changed drastically over the years, and the benefits are now hard to ignore. 

Many employers have tried to avoid remote work opportunities due to various concerns, but now that the benefits have come to light, more organizations are looking to make a shift in the working culture.

  • With more people working from home, greenhouse gases were reduced by 3.6 million tons
  • Even though remote employees tend to work more, they’ve shown a reduction in stress by 25%
  • 62.5 million hours have been saved per workday since the start of Covid-19
  • Turnover rates are reduced by 50% when employees are offered a remote opportunity
  • Remote workers can also help organizations save money by reducing in-office operational costs

As more data is collected over time, statistics on the pros and cons of remote work are bound to shift.

Nevertheless, it’s becoming highly preferred among many people in the U.S. and across the world.

Simply put, the rise we’ve seen in remote work in the last few years comes down to demand.

Many people that were forced into this work culture since Covid-19 have realized that they prefer remote work over traditional office environments.


What Workers Are Looking For

Before the boom in remote work culture, many people dreaded going to the office.

It’s known that corporate culture can have a draining effect on mental and physical health for a lot of people.

Nowadays, more employees prioritize a happier and healthier life, which drives more interest in work-from-home opportunities.

You can find a few data points on this sentiment in the list below.

  • 59% of individuals would choose to work for an employer who offered remote work on at least a part-time basis
  • Regarding teleworkers, 23% of them are happy to work longer hours if needed
  • After Covid, one in two people won’t return to jobs that don’t offer remote work opportunities
  • 82% of employees in the U.S. want to work remotely at least once per week. 
  • A quarter of employees would take a 10% pay cut to work a hybrid schedule
  • 46% of employees would look for a different job if their employer didn’t offer remote opportunities after the pandemic

Considering these staggering numbers, it’s pretty clear that many employees don’t care to return to an office environment.

When people are willing to take pay cuts or quit their job entirely, it shows that there’s a demand for work culture to change.

Once again, a hybrid work culture will be the most likely outcome for a lot of people.

However, some individuals refuse to accept anything other than a full-time remote position.


The Future of Hybrid Work Culture

Many employers are only willing to offer partially remote positions, but a hybrid model offers a decent middle ground that many employees are happy with.

Hybrid work culture can be customized quite a bit, whether it includes working from home one or multiple days throughout the week.

The statistics mentioned below include varying sentiments and data points on the hybrid work model.

  • 20% of employees admit to feeling more productive when they can choose to work in the office or at home
  • Telework has a significant impact on employee retention based on information gathered from 95% of employers
  • 80% of employees agree that telework is a great job perk
  • Only 12% of employees are happy to work in the office full time
  • 26% of surveyed employees agree that hybrid work offers a better balance between work and personal life
  • 76% of workers admit that the increase in hybrid work culture directly stems from the Covid-19 pandemic

As time passes, finding a mix of in-office, hybrid, and full remote work opportunities will be relatively normal.

Some employers may not want to admit it, but a substantial percentage of employees have shown improvements in their performance across the board.

It’s also interesting to look at how remote workers vary by age and gender.

This shows preferences among different groups and how each generation is adapting to the new work culture.

Remote Workers by Age, Education Level, and Gender

Remote Work

You might assume that everyone taking advantage of remote work opportunities is among the younger generation.

However, this isn’t always the case.

Everyone sees this opportunity as a ticket to a better work-life balance, and they’re taking advantage of it. 

AgePercentage of Employees
Education LevelPercentage of Employees
College graduate37%
Non-college graduate17%
GenderPercentage of Employees

These numbers make it obvious that the demographics of remote workers vary significantly.

People from all walks of life are looking for a better work-life balance, and a fully remote or hybrid work schedule is the best route for both workers and their employers.

It should also be noted that statistics behind the types of people that pursue remote opportunities will change.

With each year, more and more people are seeking remote work options as so many others are making the same shift.

The good news is that remote work positions are becoming more common among many different industries.

Although the pandemic was a primary instigator of the current shift in work culture, it’s something many people find long overdue.

The traditional route to the in-office environment has felt outdated to many employees for quite some time. 

Now that the benefits are clearer than ever, many employers are happy to find some middle ground with the workforce.

All of this has been made possible thanks to modern technology.

With applications like Zoom, Slack, and many others, employees can keep track of tasks and communicate with team members from every angle at any hour of the day.

The Bottom Line

There used to be a varying sentiment on remote work culture.

Both workers and employers were unsure of the best course of action.

With the unavoidable stay-at-home orders that came from the pandemic, both sides of the corporate world were forced to adapt.

Now, remote work is a rising preference among millions of people.

The weight of this preference is so significant that many employers are forced to offer a solution or lose a large portion of their workforce.

This article highlights the prevalence of remote productivity statistics alongside data on demographics for a full scope of what can be expected moving forward.


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