As we move further into the digital age of the 21st century, the way we think about work is rapidly changing. The latest work from home statistics show that more and more companies around the world are adopting flexible conditions that allow employees to work from home or remotely while traveling. Now, there’s even a term for people who constantly work and travel without ever setting foot in an office: “digital nomads.”
This shift is thanks largely to faster, more stable internet connections, as well as better software solutions for organizing tasks and communicating within companies. The state of remote work in 2019 has shown amazing results for some companies, good for others, and simply hasn’t worked for a few major companies. Most notable among these is Yahoo, which strictly banned remote work a couple of years ago.
Our goal at Fortunly is to delve deeper into the newest data. In doing so, we want to paint a clearer picture of how working from home can affect businesses of all types and sizes. We believe having the most relevant facts and statistics about working from home can help companies create better policies and improve their productivity. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of statistics using only the most reputable sources.
Statistics About Working From Home – Editor’s Choice
- The number of people who work from home has increased by 140% since 2005.
- 4.3 million people in the USA work from home at least half the time.
- 68% of job seekers who are millennials said the option to work remotely would greatly increase their interest in an employer.
- 85% of companies in the USA are hybrid employers, allowing or requiring remote work.
- Companies that allow remote work have 25% lower employee turnover those that don’t.
Working From Home Statistics
1. 4.3 million Americans reported working from home half-time or full-time in 2018.
Most people who work remotely also earn higher-than-median wages and have bachelor degrees. Men and women are represented roughly equally in these numbers. Remote workers now represent almost 3.8% of the entire US workforce, up from 1.8 million in 2005. This shows how big a shift we’ve seen over the past decade or so.
2. 66% of remote workers say they are more productive now than when they worked on-site at a company.
The same survey found nearly 75% of respondents believe the ability to work from anywhere helps them organize their lives better. Remote work statistics like this show that parents benefit most from remote work, as they have much more flexibility to spend time with their children.
3. 94% of remote workers encourage others to work remotely.
Research shows that once you start working remotely, you don’t look back. Indeed, Buffer found that 90% of respondents who work remotely wouldn’t return to office life. Statistics like this show the overwhelming feeling of freedom remote workers enjoy, and also the appreciation they have for the companies that offer it to them.
4. 85% of companies in the USA allow or require remote work.
Working from home statistics from 2018 show that the USA is a leader when it comes to remote work policies. Less than half (44%) of global respondents said their employer allows them to work remotely. However, when it comes to fully remote companies, the rest of the world edges out America by 1%. Only 15% of American companies allow fully remote work, compared to 16% of international companies.
5. Companies that allow remote work have 25% lower employee turnover than those that don’t.
Remote work statistics indicate employees are more dedicated to companies that allow them the freedom to work from home. This is becoming extremely important as connectivity and the abundance of choice leads to high turnover rates.
People have many more options than they did a few decades ago, when it was common to work one job for your whole career. As such, it’s no surprise that businesses need to offer improved working conditions to ensure employees stay loyal.
6. 54% of people would move to a different company if it gave them greater flexibility at work.
Statistics on working from home point to a rising demand for flexibility when it comes to working conditions. For the first time ever, the majority of people are willing to change jobs for just this reason. Companies need to keep up with this demand by offering conditions that suit their workers.
7. 52% of US employees work remotely at least once per week.
This trend has gained momentum both in the USA and around the world, with the numbers showing that 52% of people work remotely at least once per week and 68% do so at least once per month. Remote work statistics from 2018 show the monthly figure dropping 2% compared to the company’s 2017 study.
How often do you take advantage of the flexible working option?
8. 18% of people around the world work remotely full-time.
The same research on working from home found that 32% of respondents never work remotely, either because they can’t or because they don’t want to. These figures also highlight a slight inequality between the genders, with men more likely work remotely than women.
Globally, South America leads the way when it comes to working from home. South American workers are 67% more likely than the global average to work full-time remote jobs.
9. 69% of millennials would give up other work benefits for a more flexible working space.
According to statistics, working from home is a top priority for millennials. This generation appreciates flexible working spaces more than any that precedes it. Some estimates suggest that by 2020, millennials will make up about 50% of the entire workforce. This indicates that companies that want to retain loyal employees need to prioritize flexibility, perhaps ahead of other benefits.
10. 75% of people choose remote work because there are fewer distractions.
Remote working statistics from 2018 point to distracting conditions at the office as the main reason people choose to work from home. Of those who work remotely, 74% said their coworkers distract them. Even when they’re not directly bothering you, coworkers still add to the overall noise in the office.
11. 76% of people would feel a greater sense of job loyalty if their working hours were flexible.
Work flexibility has a big impact on the morale and loyalty of workers, as most survey respondents confirm. In fact, 97% of people say they’d love to have a flexible working plan. This indicates that companies with strict working conditions risk losing talent and getting left behind as the business world becomes more flexible.
12. 21% of people are willing to give up their vacations to get flexible working options.
This is one of the working from home stats that show just how much workers desire flexibility. More than a fifth of people surveyed said that they would sacrifice their vacation time in exchange for flexible work conditions. What’s more, 28% would accept a pay cut of 10% to 20% to work remotely, while 17% value flexible work more than employer-match retirement contributions.
13. 86% of people feel that working remotely would reduce stress.
Stress is the plague of the modern world, especially in big cities filled with noise and congested traffic. It is no wonder, then, that the vast majority of people feel that working from home or away from the office alleviates stress and improves their general health. A whopping 77% of respondents also said working remotely today would help them get more exercise, maintain a healthier diet, and generally lead a better life.
14. The number of people who work from home has increased by 140% since 2005.
Major technological advances over the past decade have caused a massive shift toward digitized jobs with tasks that only require access to a computer and an internet connection. This has made remote work a reality for an increasing number of people around the globe. Telecommuting statistics from 2018 show that full-time employees are four times more likely to be offered the option to work remotely than part-time workers.
15. People who work remotely at least once a month are 24% more likely to be productive and happy.
This statistic shows how powerful a single day of remote work per month really can be. Improving happiness and productivity with such a simple offer can do wonders for the overall health of a company. On top of this, 35% of people said remote work creates new opportunities for careers in industries that did not exist before.
16. 74% of workers would quit their job if offered more flexible options elsewhere.
Remote working statistics from 2017 showed that people are now more informed and willing to quit their jobs than ever before. This means that for the first time in a long while, workers are actually influencing change on a large scale and leading companies to offer more flexible work options. If these businesses refuse the wishes of workers who want to work remotely en masse, they risk much higher turnover rates.
17. 67% of small businesses provide their employees with the option of working flexibly.
While this figure includes options like scheduling, unlimited time off, and a relaxed dress policy, it still shows that small businesses are increasingly trying to make their workers happier. Whether it’s to prevent losing precious talent to more flexible competitors or simply to increase productivity, changes in the approach to remote work are taking place on a large scale.
Does your firm offer work-from-home programs?
18. Small companies are twice as likely to hire full-time remote workers.
Work from home statistics from 2017 show that small businesses prefer to hire full-time remote workers mainly for their own convenience. Not having to invest in office space, pay electricity bills, and buy hardware makes hiring remote employees much more profitable in the long run. Of all the industries surveyed, sales employers lead the way in hiring remote workers.
19. More than 50% of software and website developers say being able to work remotely is a priority when looking for a new job.
Programming and web development are fields where working from home has already become widespread. After all, these jobs tend to be more individual in nature, and all it takes to cooperate remotely is an internet connection. All in all, 63.9% of developers say they work remotely at least one day a month, while 11.1% work remotely full-time or almost all the time.
20. 56.3% of startups worldwide outsource their work, contributing to the demand for remote workers.
These working from home statistics from 2017 also indicated that of those startup companies that haven’t yet outsourced any work, 14.5% are planning to do so in the next year.
21. 83% of employees feel they do not need an office to be productive.
The “work from anywhere” approach is now a hit among both businesses and employees, as an increasing number of people view remote work as a net positive for their productivity. While there are certainly some drawbacks to working from home, it’s obvious that most workers don’t feel the need to go to an office to be productive.
22. Telecommuting increased 22% between 2017 and 2018.
The same study into the benefits of working from home in 2018 found that telecommuting is the most sought-after flexible work arrangement, closely followed by flexible scheduling. Almost all people surveyed (97%) said they were interested in working flexibly in the long term, while 83% said they know at least one person who already telecommutes.
23. 21% of remote workers cite loneliness as the biggest drawback of working from home.
While working remotely has many benefits, it’s not without its drawbacks, either. Working from home statistics from 2018 show that difficulties communicating with colleagues is also a major struggle for 21% of workers, followed by distractions at home (16%). Other notable issues include the struggle to stay motivated and problems working across different time zones.
24. 75% of remote workers say their company doesn’t pay for their home internet connection.
The rise of remote working is generally a good thing, but there are still some problems to overcome. One of these is that most companies still don’t pay their remote employees’ home internet bills. Considering that internet prices in the USA are among the highest in the world, at over $60 per month, this cost can really add up.
Only 18% of workers who contributed to these telecommuting statistics from 2019 said their company pays their internet bill in full, while 7% said the company covers their costs partially.
25. 65% of people think they’re more productive while working from home.
Working from home productivity statistics show that nearly two-thirds of people believe this working arrangement suits them better. For 32%, productivity levels are the same at the office or at home, while 3% of the people surveyed said they felt less productive working from home.
26. 73% of departments will have remote workers by 2028.
This study found millennials and Gen Z workers are having a dramatic impact on the workforce. When they become the workplace majority in the latter years of the next decade, it’s projected that 33% of these workers will have full-time remote jobs, while 24% will consist of freelancers and temporary agency workers.
27. If people with compatible jobs worked remotely half the time, they would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons every year.
Work from home statistics from 2016 show that working from home half the time would have a hugely positive impact on the environment. Doing this would save 640 million barrels of oil and 119 billion miles of highway driving, which would greatly improve the quality of the air we breathe. As we move toward a future built around part-time and full-time remote employment, we should begin to see positive environmental effects like these.
28. Working from home can save workers more $2,000 annually.
US work from home statistics like these vary depending on the state and the city you live in. Still, you could save a significant amount of money by going remote. This research only factors in savings on coffee, lunch, and commuting. If your daily work-related expenses include more variables, you could save even more than $2,000.
29. 63% of employees say the eight-hour work day will become obsolete.
As the way we think about work changes, so will long-standing practices like the standard eight-hour work day. In fact, people in digital industries who work from home are already pushing for shorter work days. Working from home statistics indicate that this could be the next big effect of technology, allowing for even more freedom and flexibility in how workers organize their precious time.
30. 84% of remote employees work primarily from home.
While remote work allows you to travel and perform your job from basically anywhere in the world, most workers choose to stay home for most of the year. These work from home statistics from 2019 represent a 6% increase in proportion of remote workers who stay at home compared to the previous year’s figures. Working from home is far more popular than other remote work options, including coworking spaces (8%) and cafes (4%).
The remote work trends of 2019 leave no doubt in our minds that remote employment is going to overtake traditional office work in the near future. The shift toward working from home will have a huge impact on how we live – maybe an even bigger one than we currently realize. Workers will not only lead better-organized and less-stressful daily lives, but will save money and reduce pollution in their cities.
Most people who already work from home agree with everything we’ve said above, but that’s not to say remote work is perfect. Work from home statistics highlight a few key issues that businesses will have to confront in the coming decades. These include feelings of loneliness and isolation, with more people than ever craving human interaction.
It will take a lot of effort from a whole lot of people to make working from home as efficient and enjoyable as it can be. But in the long run, we think this revolution will prove beneficial to both businesses and their employees.