2021 Remote Work Statistics

remote work statistics

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The remote working trend is growing exponentially. Do you want to know what remote work statistics tell us about the workplace in 2021?

We have collected all the key statistics on remote working here to help you understand how remote working can impact your business.

Whether you’re already having remote professionals on board or thinking about hiring ones, these remote work stats will help make informed decisions to get the most out of remote working.

Working Remotely in 2021

Even before the ongoing pandemic hit, remote work had been growing rapidly. In fact, remote work had witnessed 159% growth over the last 12 years before the pandemic started. The difference in the data for remote work trends 2018 and the remote work trends 2020 highlights this growth.

In 2020, when covid-19 raged, more and more employers voluntarily or mandatorily allowed their employees to work remotely. And employees are happy with the remote work model, considering 97% of remote workers don’t want to return to the office.

How many people are working remotely in the US? How much time can remote working save for your employees? How much money can you save by allowing your employees to work remotely?

The remote work statistics listed below will answer these questions and more.

46 Interesting Remote Work Statistics of 2021

Remote work helps both small business owners and their employees, that’s the reason why remote work is increasing rapidly. Explore the following key remote work statistics to know it yourself.

36.2 Million Americans Will Be Remote by 2025

According to Future Workforce Report, the number of remote workers is expected to nearly double the pre-pandemic level in the next five years.

There were 16.8 million remote workers before the COVID-19 hit. With more and more employers adopting remote work, the prediction looks realistic.

A Whopping 16% of People Working Remotely are Managers

Are you wondering about the positions of remote workers?

Fundera reports:

  • 16% of remote workers are managers
  • 14% of remote professionals are office and administrative support executives
  • 13% of remote workers are sales related

If you want to know about the education of remote workers, 57% of telecommuters have at least a bachelor’s degree.

52% of Men and 60% of Women will Quit If They Are Not Allowed to Continue Remote Work

Remote work has become hugely popular among working professionals. Cost savings, no commute, time savings, better mental health, more productivity are just a few of the many perks remote work offers.

So, there is no surprise that more than half of the professionals, as per FlexJobs, will look for a new job if their companies don’t offer remote work.

32% of All Employees Worldwide Will Be Remote Workers by the End of 2021 up from 17% of Employees in 2019

The number increases if you talk about knowledgeable workers (like writers, accountants, engineers, etc.).

Gartner forecasts that 51% of global knowledge employees will work remotely by the end of 2021. This is up from 27% of knowledge workers in 2019.

Are you curious about the percentage of remote workers in 2022? Gartner predicts that 31% of all workers globally will be remote.

26.7% of US Employees Will Be Working Remotely in 2021

The pandemic changed the workplace forever. With more and more companies allowing their employees to work remotely, the forecasted number by Upwork is most likely to come true.

Employees Who Work Remotely Save an Average of 51 Minutes a Day

One of the most significant benefits of remote work is the lack of commute. And lack of commute not only saves remote workers’ time as found out by Upwork but also helps them make work-life balance.

What’s more, the lack of commute provides remote workers with more flexibility and freedom in their schedules. As a result, you will find your remote workers happier.

Work from Home Is Greener than Returning to the Traditional Office

A report from Alliance Virtual Offices finds that the work from home model is expected to cause 34.3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2021, which is still greener than coming to the office.

An average remote worker reduces their carbon footprint by approximately 1800 pounds by working from home.

Not only does work from home reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also it decreases waste production, lowers electricity consumption, reduces paper consumption, and offers many other environmental benefits.

Businesses Can Save About $11,000 Per Year for Every Employee Who Works Remotely Half of the Time

So, if you want to save more money, you should consider having a fully remote workforce as you will not require to rent an office space. Also, you will not have to invest in office furniture and other essential things required to run an office.

84% of Remote Workers Prefer Working from Their Homes

Well, remote workers mean employees who work (at least some of the time) in a place that is not their office. They can work from cafes, vacation spots, homes, or any other places that suit them.

According to the State of Remote Work prepared by Buffer and AngelList, most remote professionals prefer working from their homes. And another popular choice to work remotely is a cafe.

37% of the US Jobs Can Be Performed Entirely at Home

During the pandemic, businesses explored the power of a flexible schedule. And remote opportunities increased by many folds.

Many business leaders predicted that remote work would become a standard in the coming years. 37% of jobs that can be done at home make nearly half (46%) of all wages in the US.

71% of Remote Workers Say They’re Happy in Their Jobs

Many full-time workers believe that an option to work remotely will make them happier. In fact, 83% of survey respondents agree that the ability to work remotely would make them happier, reports Owl Labs.

What’s more, 71% of remote workers say they are happy in their jobs as compared to 55% of on-site workers.

65% of Remote Workers Don’t Want to Return to a Traditional Office Even After the Pandemic Ends

A survey conducted by FlexJobs states that many remote workers (65%) are happy working remotely and don’t want to join the traditional office. And the same report finds that 33% of employees want to work in a hybrid work arrangement that allows them to work remotely at least for a few days a week/month.

74% of Working Professionals Think that Remote Work Will Become the New Normal

Is Remote work post Covid-19 going to be the new norm?

76% of employers and 74% of employees said YES to that question. Of employees who said yes, 61% wanted a fully remote position.

51% of Employees State That They’re More Productive Working Remotely

Are you thinking about the reasons why remote work can boost productivity?

A FlexJobs survey has listed the following reasons for increased productivity of people who work remotely:

  • Fewer interruptions (68%)
  • More focused time (63%)
  • Quiet work environment (68%)
  • More conformable workplace (66%)

More Than Half (56%) of Companies Globally are Hybrid Companies or Fully Remote Companies

The Owl Labs report mentioned that 85% of US companies were hybrid companies. It is evident that US companies are more open to the work-from-home culture. Also, note that these figures represent the pre-COVID era.

During the COVID-19, companies across the globe increasingly switch to the work-from-home model. So, you can expect an increase in these figures.

The IT and Technology Industry, with 77% Remote Employees (Partially and Fully), Is at the Top When It Comes to Embracing the Remote Model

Do you want to know the top three industries globally, which employ remote professionals (partially and fully) during covid-19?

Here is the list, according to BCG:

  • IT and technology (77%)
  • Digitization and analytics (75%)
  • Consulting (74%)

Before the pandemic, the IT and technology industry employed 41% remote professionals (partially and fully).

20% of Remote Workers Struggle with Loneliness

A remote job doesn’t always mean good employee health, increased productivity, and saving of money. It also has a few downsides, and loneliness is one of them.

Yes, remote workers feel isolated and they report loneliness.

Businesses should proactively support their remote workers to fight loneliness. Offering coworking space stipends, organizing company-wide virtual meetings, encouraging monthly or quarterly headquarter visit, set up meetings to make work from home employees feel connected are some ways to do it.

86% of Employees Say that Flexible or Remote Jobs Will Allow Them to Reduce Stress

Work from home reduces stress as there are fewer distractions and interruptions from colleagues, no commuting, more flexible working space option, no office politics to deal with, etc.

A FlexJobs survey also notes that 97% of professionals believe that a remote job or a job with flexibility will improve their overall quality of life.

Small Companies Are Two Times More Likely to Hire Full-time Remote Workers

Small businesses often run on limited operating budgets, meaning they have to make most of every dollar they spend.

Needless to say, a remote workforce can help any small business access the best talent irrespective of its location, save on office and overhead costs.

So, it is no surprise that small business owners are 2X more likely to hire WFH employees.

29% of Fully Remote Employees Feel Burned out Very Often or Always

Work from home before Covid-19 used to offer a different experience. According to a Gallup study, in the pre-covid world, only 18% of fully remote professionals felt burned out while 30% of on-site workers experienced burned out.

However, during the pandemic when outside movements were restricted, 29% of fully remote professionals felt burned out as compared to 26% of on-site workers. That said, you should prioritize the mental health of your employees.

Another study reveals that 56% of full-time employees who work from home find it hard to switch off. This can be a big reason for burning out. Therefore, you should try to encourage a fixed schedule to help your WFH employees unplug.

4.5% of Renters in the US Can Buy a Starter House Somewhere in the US Because of Remote Work

Needless to say, people can relocate to lesser expensive areas due to remote work. So full-time remote workers can purchase a starter house in a less expensive neighborhood.

Zillow reports that there are 2 million renter households in a job that can be done remotely, which makes 4.5% of total renter households in the US.

81% of Employees Would Be More Loyal to Their Company If They Had Flexible Work Options

Many Remote work statistics prove that flexible work options offer better work-life balance, increase saving, and ability to lead an overall healthy life. Consequently, flexible work options increase job satisfaction.

So, there is no shock that 81% of employees would be loyal to their employer if they are provided with flexible work options.

60% of Remote Workers Say Their Work-life Balance Has Improved

In-office employees often spend a good deal of time while commuting. And it goes without saying that commuting is stressful.

So, in the absence of commuting and other downsides of office work, remote work offers a better work-life balance.

4.1% of the Entire Workforce in the US Telecommuted Half-time or More

The above figure is before the pandemic hit. At the peak of the pandemic, 69% of US employees worked remotely full-time, reports Global Workplace Analytics.

One-third of Chief Operating Officers Plan to Reduce Office Space in the Coming Years as the Current Leases Expire

McKinsey’s survey expects a 36% increase in work time outside office space. This simply means companies will not need big office spaces.

So, it is realistic to assume that companies will reduce office space in the wake of the growing trend of remote work.

The Average Annual Income of Telecommuters Is $4000 Higher than Non-telecommutes in the US

In addition to this higher salary remote workers paid, they can save a significant amount of money that they will otherwise spend on work clothes, lunches, commutes, etc.

Not only do remote workers earn more money but also they save a lot.

61% of US Employees are Ready to Take a Pay cut so as to Continue the Remote Working Status

According to The State of Remote Work Report from GoodHire, some employees are ready to lose even 50% of their salary to avoid going back to the office five days a week.

73% of C-suite and IT Leaders Think that Telecommuters Pose a Greater Security Risk than In-office Workers

While remote work is beneficial to both employers and employees, it also poses many cyber security risks. And main reasons for security risks include but are not limited to password sharing, using personal devices, accessing public WIFI, etc.

You should be proactive to address these security risks to ensure safety for your remote workers.

61% of Financial Services CFOs Say They Plan to Make Telecommuting Permanent for Jobs that Can Be Done Remotely

Before COVID-19, only 29% of financial services (FS) companies had at least 60% of their workforce telecommuting at least once a week.

After Covid-19, the financial industry embraced remote work enthusiastically, with 69% of FS companies expected to have 60% of their workforce working remotely at least once a week, reported PwC.

Only 20-25% of Companies Pay or Share the Cost of Home Office Equipment for Remote Workers

Considering remote work trends, you will know more and more companies are implementing the remote work model. But the cost of home office setup is often borne by employees themselves.

Only 20-25% of companies pay or share the cost of home office equipment such as a computer, a chair, a network router, etc.

63% of Job Seekers Are Looking for Remote or Work from Home Jobs

If you want to hire and retain the top talents, start creating remote positions. This is because 63% of job seekers these days are searching for remote jobs more than any other type of job.

85% of Americans Need Confirmed Remote/Hybrid Option before Applying for Jobs

Are you struggling to attract applicants for your job postings? Adding remote positions to job ads can make a big difference.

85% of Americans prefer to apply for jobs that offer remote flexibility. Only 15% of Americans would apply for a job that requires full-time office work.

The Number of Coworking Spaces Globally Is Expected to Cross 40,000 by 2024

Remote professionals love to work in a casual coworking space. As the number of remote workers is growing fast, the demand for casual coworking spaces is also increasing.

So, there is no doubt that coworking spaces will increase in the future. 77% of coworking space operators said they would open new locations, reports Global Coworking Growth Study.

80% of the US Employees Expect to Work Remotely at least Three Times a Week post Covid-19

Leaders and managers should make a note of this stat from Owl Labs. If you want to secure and retain talented employees, you should offer them the flexibility to work. At least a few days a week of remote work can help you get hold of the top talents.

Remote Employees Worked an Extra 26 Hours on Average each Month During COVID

According to an Owl Labs report, remote professionals give 26 hours more each month to their companies.

So, merely hiring remote professionals can increase working hours each month, let alone the savings they bring to the table.

Collaboration, Communication, and Loneliness are Biggest Challenge with Working Remotely

As technology advances, it is becoming easier to collaborate and communicate remotely. But remote professionals still struggle at this front. 20% of remote professionals find collaboration and communication the biggest struggle.

70% of Americans Would Leave Employee Benefits for Remote Work

All remote work trends confirm that remote work has been becoming popular for the past few years. But the surprising thing is 70% of workers are ready to leave health/dental/vision insurance, paid time off, retirement benefit, and gym benefit to maintain remote work status.

Remote Work Can Save a Professional between $600 and $6,000 per year

No commuting, no outside lunch, no office clothes, remote work can save a professional between $600 to $6000 per year.

A half-time telecommuter can also save a good amount of money each month. Even having the option to work remotely at least a few days a month can grow one’s savings.

35% of Working Professional Would Change their Jobs to Work Remotely Fulltime

Allowing your employees to work remotely can be a good strategy to keep them on board. According to a report from Global Workplace Analytics, 35% of employees would change their jobs to work remotely full-time.

84% of Remote Workers State that Their Opinion Count at Work

Working at a remote location doesn’t mean losing one’s voice in pressing professional matters.

According to Quantum Workplace, 84% of remote workers voice that their opinion count at work as compared to 74% of on-site employees. The percentage reached 85% for hybrid employees.

62% of American Working from Home Plan to Migrate to a New City

This is an important benefit of telecommuting. With the freedom to work from their choice of locations, telecommuters want to live in their hometowns or the places where they feel comfortable, finds a report from Simform.

45% of Working Professionals Say that They Work More While Working Remotely

A few people have a misconception about remote worker productivity, and they believe remote professionals work less. But, in the reality, it is different.

According to Buffer, almost half (45%) of remote professionals work more. And 42% of remote professionals do the same amount of work they used to do while working onsite.

50% of Organization Leaders Find Remote Employees Are More Frequently Joining Performance Reviews and Goal Management

You don’t have to worry about the engagement of remote professionals in performance management. Now, they are more engaged in joining check-ins, performance reviews, and goal management.

70% of Remote Job Listings Originate from the US

The US leads when it comes to remote job opportunities. The other two countries trailing behind the US are the UK and Canada.

32% of Employees Say Having a Flexible Work Schedule Is the Biggest Benefit of Remote Work

A flexible work schedule improves the work-life balance of employees, thereby improving their personal wellbeing. Also, it can be helpful for parents and people with health conditions.

So, there is no surprise 32% of employees rate flexible work schedules as the biggest benefit of remote work.

56% of Employees Have a Job of Which Some Tasks Can be Completed Remotely

This state from Global Workplace Analytics implies that employees can do remote work at least a few days a month if they’re not already doing it.


Now, you have a clear picture of remote work statistics in 2021. It’s time to act. Use the 2021 remote working trends and remote statistics to hire and manage remote workers.

Equipped with the latest statistics on remote work, you can make better decisions now pertinent to the remote workforce.

Image: Depositphotos

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Sandeep Babu Sandeep Babu is a staff writer for Small Business Trends as well as a freelance writer. He regularly contributes to leading online publications and writes for his own blog Quick Scream.

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