You wake up early. This is just so you can avoid heavy traffic. You need to make it to work on time. You didn’t even have time for breakfast. It is going to be a very long day. Sound familiar?
This routine is quickly becoming obsolete as more companies employ a remote work setup. Not surprisingly, the remote work stats for 2021 indicate that working outside of the traditional office setting is quickly becoming the norm. Workers demand a better way to work. And remote work is a potential solution for many workers today.
Thanks to technology and the constantly changing views on labor, many fields are adapting remote work. Compared to previous years, remote work has become more accessible not only for employees but also employers. The acceptance of remote work should come as no surprise. After all, remote work provides many valuable benefits, including improved productivity, savings, and better efficiency, among many others.
Remote Work Stats for 2021
Without question, remote work has become an incredible opportunity for employees. It gives people the freedom to work wherever they want and enjoy flexible hours. These factors can be amazing motivators for those who no longer want to deal with the monotony of office life. Many workers are even choosing to forego pay raises, vacations, and even retirement plans associated with their 9-to-5 jobs just so they can work remotely.
So what has brought about this dramatic shift in the way work gets done? Let’s see what lessons can be learned from the remote work stats for 2021.
Size of the remote workforce
One of the most important remote work stats for 2021 is its sheer size. Around 71 percent of Americans have worked from home since the pandemic. This signals a 43 percent increase from 2016. Aside from that, 62 percent of employees between the ages of 22 and 65 say that they work remotely at least occasionally, and 30 percent of people work remotely full time. Buffer also found that 44 percent of employees work as teams that work remotely full time.
The perks of remote work appeal greatly to highly experienced and educated workers. Remote workers are characterized by 78 percent having a college degree and 32 percent working at the manager level or higher.
Employees save time
The University of Chicago Becker Friedman Institute for Economics surveyed 10,000 employees and found that their commuting time was significantly reduced by a staggering 62.4 million hours per day, with over 9 billion hours saved from March 2020 to September 2020. In a separate study by Owl Labs, results showed that the average remote employee saves 40 minutes daily from not having to commute.
Remote work does wonders for productivity
According to a study by Stanford University, there is an impressive increase in the productivity of those employees who worked from home. These remote work stats for 2021 compared in-office and remote workers of a travel company and found that during the 9 months of the study, those who worked in a remote setting were 13 percent more productive. That’s impressive, considering they produce almost an extra day’s worth of output per week.
The same results are also mirrored by a more recent study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group. This study found that despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, a whopping 75 percent of employees have improved or maintained their productivity, especially when it comes to writing presentations, analyzing data, and interacting with clients.
Not only that, but the responses of the remote workers also revealed surprising insights for the future of their work. Despite these promising results, it’s worth noting that there are critical factors that are essential to maintain or increase the productivity of employees, such as an appropriate working model employed by companies.
It helps improve company loyalty
Employee loyalty involves having workers that are devoted to the success of a business. This is very beneficial to the worker and the company because both parties get what they want.
The pandemic has forced companies to change their recruitment methods. Generally, and the onboarding process has now become entirely virtual. While many may think this would pose challenges for company loyalty, the opposite is happening.
One very interesting result of remote work stats for 2021 is 88 percent of workers feel that their current work setup allows them to spend more time with their families. Research has also found that people were less likely to leave their company if they were doing remote work.
Ultimately, when workers feel happy and in control, they become more appreciative and loyal to their company. Workers feel more valued and have greater opportunities to enjoy other things such as their hobbies that they used to put off due to tiring work hours at the office.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, workers should stay home if they are sick. Considering this, remote workers are in an ideal situation. When these workers fall ill but can still work, they can do it without calling in sick and missing out on tasks to do.
That’s not all. Remote work is great for an employee’s health because there was a drop in the sickness levels of employees who work from home from 2019 to 2020, both in sickness occurrences (61.3 percent) and sick days (80.6 percent).
Remote workers are willing to sacrifice job benefits
One false notion when it comes to remote workers is that they are lazy. However, these workers are willing to sacrifice vacations just to have a more flexible working environment. Not only that, but 28 percent said that they are willing to accept up to a 20 percent pay cut just so they could work remotely.
Remote work is great for the environment
The pandemic has brought tons of challenges to people around the globe. But there’s also a silver lining: it has changed people’s behaviors, and this has led to decreased air pollution, improved water quality, among many other important benefits.
Because people now work from home, they do not need to use cars. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions that are released into the atmosphere from motor vehicles are now reduced. Considering the remote work stats for 2021 states the number of remote workers is expected to increase in the coming years from 13 to 27 million, this setup can decrease commuting miles by a shocking 70 to 140 billion annually. Therefore, the amount of pollution will also decrease.
Remote work results in improved mental health
Flexjobs found that employees with flexible work options such as working remotely have better mental health compared to those who don’t. Workers who do not have access to working remotely are twice more prone to having poor mental health.
Around 48 percent of those who work remotely shared that they enjoy a satisfying work-life integration. And 54 percent say that they have the emotional support needed at work. So how do these numbers compare with workers who do not have the option of working from home? Around 30% of traditional workers have a satisfying work-life balance, and 45% have the support they need at work available. Quite the difference.
Stress is dubbed as one of the biggest problems of workers today when it comes to mental health. So companies should find ways to reduce it. According to 77 percent of remote workers, a remote work setup allows them to experience less stress and become healthier because it helps them exercise more, enjoy a better diet, and have a healthier lifestyle.
Remote workers earn more
When PayScale analyzed data from thousands of salaries, they found that people who work remotely make 8.3 percent more than people who don’t. The sample included people with the same job and qualifications. When the years of experience, location, and job title were not factored in, remote workers still made 7.5 percent more. That is not all. Remote workers can save an average of $4,000 each year on expenses associated with having to go to the office.
Companies save more
The financial incentive for remote workers is a big advantage, and the same thing can also be said for employers. US employers can save $30 billion a day in total if they permit their employees to work remotely.
With no need for big office space with huge utility bills and rent, brands can finally downsize permanently. For instance, Sun Microsystems has saved $68 million annually in real estate by allowing its employees to work remotely. Remote work will also help them save on cleaning services. The savings are real for both large and small companies.
Considering Remote Work Stats for 2021, What’s Next for Remote Work?
With more businesses adapting to the remote work business model and experiencing its incredible benefits, the remote work stats for 2021 suggest an increase in remote work after the pandemic is over.
Around one in four managers think that the workforce will continue to follow a remote work setup. This belief even applies to when offices open up and employees can finally work in traditional office settings. People’s opinion on remote work is high not only for 2021 but also for the coming years. Up to 22.9 percent of employees expect that the workforce will be fully remote in four years’ time.
Considering the convenience that remote working provides employees and companies, it comes as no surprise that 53 percent of employees in the US who are currently working remotely want to continue this work set up after the pandemic ends.
As brands get comfortable with remote work, many have realized that the benefits it can give are priceless. Companies such as Twitter have even announced that their workers can continue working remotely indefinitely regardless of any changes in daily life.
Remote Work Is Here to Stay
This work setup is truly an eye-opener for many companies and employees who used to be stuck with working in their offices for years. It’s worth noting that the remote work stats for 2021 are signaling a permanent shift to remote work.
Remote work is not just a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote work has transformed everyday life and changed the way work gets done forever.