My first marketing job was as a contract writer for an agency on the opposite side of the world. This also happened to be my first “real” job and, consequently, my first experience of remote work.

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Since then, I’ve worked with several other companies across multiple time zones and, as a result, experienced everything remote work has to offer — from the challenges of setting up a home office to the joys of location independence.

But more importantly, I’ve also gotten to consciously observe the growth and impact of remote work over time.

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In this post, I’ll be sharing 60 statistics to help you understand the evolution, opportunities, and challenges this unique mode of work offers.

Each section is designed to provide more than just statistics and instead offer you a cohesive, research-backed narrative on each sub-topic.

Table of Contents

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The Introduction and Evolution of Remote Work

  • According to Hubspot, the most popular work model today is a hybrid model, which is preferred by 41% of employees. This is followed by the fully remote work model (32%), and, finally, on-site work (27%). However, interestingly, before 2020, most employees had fully on-site jobs with no immediate plans to switch to alternative models. So, what changed?
  • The 2020 lockdown mandated a complete shift to remote work across most industries, introducing many to remote work for the first time. Consequently, an Owl Labs survey found that this experience led to 70% of employees wanting to maintain a hybrid or remote working arrangement even post-pandemic.
  • By 2021, an Accenture study found that 83% of global workers viewed this hybrid model of work (a mix of remote and on-site work) as ideal.
  • As time went on, worker preferences kept evolving. A 2022 study found that the preferred working styles shifted a bit from the previous year. Remote work was favored by 34% in 2021 but dropped to 29% in 2022. Hybrid work went from 31% to 36%, and in-office work went from 29% to 22%.

remote working stats, working preferencesImage Source

remote working stats, working preferencesImage Source

  • Studies continue to consistently show that many workers prefer a remote or hybrid arrangement over on-site work. For instance, Atlassian’s State of Work study showed a notable shift in the preferences of remote, office-only, and hybrid workers between 2021 and 2022: 22% in 2022 versus 34% in 2021, 35% in 2022 versus 39% in 2021, and 43% in 2022 versus 27% in 2021, respectively.
  • Overall, the hybrid model of remote work appears to be the happy medium between workers and employers, with 45.5% of remote workers having hybrid arrangements compared to 20.5% who work fully from home, according to a January 2023 survey.

How Companies Have Responded to Remote Work

remote working stats, working preferences

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  • On the other hand, several studies have found that remote work is the exception and not the norm. According to a study by Accenture, as of 2022, 36% of workers worldwide had returned to a fully on-site work model across all industries.
  • Another survey by Atlassian also revealed that 82% of all knowledge workers had some form of “in-office mandate,” while 25% of workers who supposedly had the choice to work remotely still felt pressure to go into the office.
  • Finally, a 2022 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey found that only 27.5% of private sector businesses (2.5 million) had employees teleworking all or some of the time.
  • So, how do we interpret this seemingly conflicting data? Well, all perspectives may have merit. By examining each industry individually rather than collectively, the data aligns better.
  • The same study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that professional and business services, educational services, and wholesale trade boasted the highest percentage of teleworkers at 67.4%, 49%, 46%, and 39%, respectively. This suggests that remote work opportunities are simply more prevalent in certain industries, and study results will often vary depending on the industry surveyed.

Why Workers Prefer Remote Work

remote working stats, working benefits

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The Business Impact of Remote Work

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  • So, what does this mean? Is remote work simply an added expense with no real benefits to the bottom line? On the contrary, remote work also offers major financial benefits. According to a study by IWG, more than four-fifths of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) (82%) believe that remote work, specifically in a hybrid format, is a more cost-effective business model compared to traditional office setups.
  • This line of thinking is supported by findings from Global Workplace Analytics, which suggests that hybrid working arrangements can save organizations more than $11,000 per employee annually on average.
  • But how exactly does remote work deliver cost savings for companies? Firstly, there’s the potential for substantial savings on office rent. The IWG study found that two-thirds (65%) of CFOs aim to reduce facility spending by more than 10% per year.
  • Similarly, another study found that 60% of U.S. executives plan to reduce office space by up to half or more.
  • The rationale behind these cost-saving measures is clear. By eliminating or significantly reducing office space requirements, companies can avoid committing to expensive, long-term leases, adjust their space requirements as needed, and enjoy huge cost savings. For instance, Cisco’s adoption of hybrid working practices has resulted in savings of $500 million over the past five years.
  • But there’s more to it than just saving on office costs. Worker costs alone reveal an interesting trend. An Owl Labs study found that more than half of all workers (52%) would be willing to accept a pay cut of 5% or more in exchange for the flexibility to choose their working location. In fact, 23% indicated they would accept a pay cut of 10% or more for this benefit.
  • Conversely, if workers were no longer allowed to work remotely or in a hybrid setup, 67% would expect a pay increase to cover additional commuting expenses.
  • Finally, beyond cost considerations, recent research conducted by IWG and Arup revealed that hybrid working has the potential to reduce urban carbon emissions by 70% in the UK and up to 87% in the U.S.. These findings suggest that the environmental impact of fully remote work could be substantial for businesses that choose to adopt remote work models.

Collaboration in a Remote Work Environment

  • According to a recent HubSpot survey, the number one pain point for companies in the remote work era is disconnected systems. Specifically, the survey found that the top problem for remote companies seems to be difficulties with communication and collaboration between teams.
  • But why is this a problem? One possible reason could be how distributed teams are nowadays. For example, Buffer’s State of Remote Work survey found that 74% of respondents worked in companies that operate across multiple time zones. Additionally, over half of the remote workers (62%) in that study reported having people in their immediate teams distributed across multiple time zones.

remote working stats, time zones

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  • This distributed setup impacts how remote teams collaborate. Currently, collaboration mainly occurs through messaging apps (50%), emails (22%), and meetings (19%), with video calls being the most common for meetings. Interestingly, only about one-third (36%) of employers have upgraded their video meeting technology since 2020.
  • For virtual meetings specifically, a Buffer study found that when taking meetings, most remote workers prefer to be on camera. When asked why, 67% of participants felt it was easier to communicate when they could see someone’s expression.
  • That said, not all meetings are viewed favorably by remote workers. A study by HubSpot revealed that 70% of employees find too many calls and meetings disruptive to their concentration. Additionally, 58% feel that at least half of the meetings they attend could have been handled through emails instead.
  • Moreover, the same study also found that email was the preferred communication platform for a majority of respondents (39%) when asked to choose one platform for the upcoming year.
  • On the side of the organizations, several studies have shown that employers are also taking measures to ensure seamless collaboration amongst remote teams. A 2022 study found that roughly half (50%) of employers have provided training to managers on managing remote and hybrid teams.
  • Similarly, a HubSpot study found that 32% of employees who participated in their Hybrid Work survey had received guidelines on using unified communication and collaboration tools. Furthermore, 54% had received training on conducting effective and inclusive hybrid meetings.
  • Finally, a recent study also found that 37% of employers have added or increased the use of employee tracking software, indicating a growing trend towards more effective monitoring and management of remote teams.
We’re committed to your privacy. HubSpot uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, check out our Privacy Policy.

Company Culture Code Template

Establish an inclusive organization with our free Company Culture Code Template. Outline your…


  • Culture code.

  • Company mission & values.

  • Company policies.

  • And more!

Loading your download form

You’re all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.


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Challenges of Remote Work

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  • There’s also the fact that not every employee thrives in a remote environment. A recent study found that nearly half of U.S. workers feel their teams do not function effectively in a hybrid environment.
  • While this could likely be attributed to several reasons, a 2022 study found that 77% of remote workers who felt less productive attributed this to increased distractions at home, which is understandable considering that 45% of remote workers utilize multi-purpose spaces, such as bedrooms or kitchens, for work.
  • Separating work and personal life can also be difficult in a remote setting. In one study, 81% of remote workers admitted to checking work emails outside of office hours, with 63% doing so on weekends and 34% while on vacation. Moreover, 48% often worked beyond traditional hours, with 44% reporting increased work hours compared to the previous year.
  • Another study also found that nearly half (45%) of workers report an increase in work-related stress over the past year.
  • Finally, another major challenge for remote work adoption seems to be workplace perceptions. One study found that 49% of workers feel that managers view in-office employees as harder working and more trustworthy than remote counterparts.
  • Similarly, another study found that 10% of employees fear being perceived as less productive or committed if they work remotely.

Navigating The Remote Work Landscape

While remote work presents new and unique challenges, with the right approach and understanding, it can lead to more productive and satisfying working arrangements for both employees and employers.

Whether you‘re considering your first remote role or hiring remote team members, it’s important to keep the stats above in mind as the world continues to evolve and embrace flexibility.

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