The pandemic spurred one of the biggest changes ever in the business world: remote work. While plenty of employees enjoyed the flexibility of working at home before COVID-19, remote work policies have since exploded across the business world. In fact, from 2019 to 2021, the number of employees working from home at least part of the time tripled from 5.7% to 17.9%, going from approximately 9 million to around 27.6 million people, one of many work from home statistics that point to a new normal in the business world.
As a result, there are plenty of businesses that offer remote work now, but still some companies aren't convinced. Most notably, Elon Musk has made a big push to get Tesla and Twitter employees back into the office, and some studies show that as many as 65% of employers want workers back in the office, citing everything from productivity to company culture.
Unfortunately for these employers, the data just doesn't back it up. In this guide, we'll cover a wide range of work from home statistics, which will reveal the truth about remote work benefits and downsides and whether productivity really is at risk by so-called telecommuting.
Key Telecommuting and Remote Working Productivity Statistics
The benefits of telecommuting and remote working have been plentiful, from less commuting and flexible schedules to saving money and improving work-life balance. But has work from home productivity actually improved? Here are a few key statistics that shine a little light on the new normal of the business world:
- One third of survey respondents said they would take a pay cut of up to 5% in exchange for the option to work remotely at least some of the time; a quarter would take a 10% pay cut; and 20% would take an even greater cut. (Owl Labs)
- 47% of businesses noticed increased productivity levels amongst employees who work remotely (Tech.co)
- 78% of CEOs say remote collaboration is here to stay (PwC)
- Remote work is the number one priority for top talent (Forbes)
- Performance boosted 22% when employees were allowed to work from home (Stanford GSB)
- 30% of employees do more work in less time while working remotely (SHRM)
Suffice it to say, remote work and telecommuting provide workers with incentive, flexibility, optimism, time, money, and an overall productivity boost, so it's no wonder it's popular among employees after the pandemic. After all, if you can dial in to work with technology such as VoIP software, there's really no need to spend all that time and money coming into the office.
How Could Telecommuting Increase Worker Productivity?
You might be asking yourself, what's the difference between remote working and telecommuting? To be honest, it's a fair question, as the difference between them as definitely been blurred since the start of the pandemic. According to experts, there are some key differences between remote working and telecommuting.
From a definition standpoint, telecommuting is the act of working remotely via the phone, email, or internet, while remote work is the act of working from anywhere but the office, whether digitally connected or not. Additionally, in most cases, telecommuters still live near the office, whereas remote workers might live anywhere in the world, and are more likely to work out of the office full-time, rather than part-time.
Other than those slight differences in definition, they're colloquially the same things, particularly since the pandemic. The average person will use them interchangeably, with remote work now the decidedly more popular term in a typical business setting.
Remote working productivity statistics
As for how telecommuting and remote working can actually improve productivity at your business, here are a few statistics that should help motivate you:
- 32.2% of hiring managers said that productivity has increased since remote work policies have started
- 30% of employees told researchers they were more productive and engaged while working remotely
- Businesses experienced a 22% performance boost when launching a hybrid work model
- 30% of employees did more work in less time, while working remotely
Working From Home vs Office Working: How Can Each Benefit Your Business?
At this point in history, a lot of employees have had the chance to work both at home and in an office. From company culture and collaboration to flexible schedule and pajama pants, there are plenty of reasons to keep doing both, depending on your particularly situation.
There are obviously pros and cons for each, so let's take a look at how office working and working from home differ.
Work from home statistics
- US employers can save an average of $11,000 per year for every half-time telecommuter. Savings are based on increased productivity, cheaper real estate costs, and reduced absenteeism and turnover.
- Remote work is the number one priority for top talent
- 79% of employees said they would be more loyal if an employer allowed for a more flexible schedule
- Remote employees have more job satisfaction (90%) than those commuting to work (82%)
- Remote workers are 22% happier than in-office workers
Office working statistics
- If employees were not allowed to work remotely after the pandemic, 54% of US employees said they would stay, but they would be less willing to go the extra mile, an approach also known as quiet quitting
- 97% of employees say they don't want to return to the office full-time
- 51% of workers would outright quit if asked to give up their new hybrid working model
- Employees that work from home are more optimistic about work (89%) than those working in the office (77%)
- 55% of employees say they work more hours remotely than they do in the office
- 74% of professional expect remote work to become the standard
Strategies to Increase Work From Home Productivity
Now that you understand the value of remote work in comparison to in-office work, it's fair to say you should at least look into it for your business. After all, saving money, improving productivity, and contributing to employee work-life balance sounds pretty good to us.
In fact, the entire Tech.co team subscribes to the company's hybrid work model, allowing us to flexibly work where we need to, while occasionally coming into the office. We've had great success facilitating work relationships, hitting productivity goals, and generally knocking it out of the park when it comes to remote work.
However, remote work won't just immediately improve productivity overnight. We followed remote work best practices to ensure that remote employees felt like part of the team. That's why we'd recommend taking note of these three strategies for increasing work from home productivity in your team.
Check in regularly
When employees work in the office, it's easy to stop by and learn about what they're doing, both in the office and at home. However, when employees work remotely, it can be hard to know exactly what's going on with them, which is why we recommend checking in regularly to ensure that they don't feel like they're left out in the cold.
According to one study, remote workers have a tendency to feel left out compared to their in-office counterparts, while 46% believe that a good manager checks in frequently and regularly with remote employees. Simply put, you need to pay attention to your remote employees to get the desired productivity out of them.
Everyone loves to feel like they've done a good job, and it's easy to celebrate achievements when you're in the office. In fact, 37% of workers think the biggest driver for great work is recognition, which means you need to prioritize this kind of action when it comes to remote workers.
Whether it be a simply shoutout system on Slack or a full-on reward system for those that go above and beyond, making remote workers feel appreciated for their work can go a long way in encouraging productivity across your business.
Use the right tools
In the modern age, it's fair to assume that the majority of your business' operations have been digitized in one way or another. Fortunately, this can make transitioning to a hybrid or remote work model easier, allowing those at home to access important data anywhere.
However, from a functionality standpoint, you're going to need more than Google Docs and a good attitude to encourage productivity from remote workers. Tools like VoIP phones and web conferencing platforms can make staying in touch with remote workers easy, while still allowing for flexible schedules. Big teams, such as ones working in call centers, will have different priorities than smaller teams working in offices.
Additionally, remote work comes with a lot of security issues that will need to be addressed before kicking off. Security breaches and ransomware attacks are far more viable when attacking those who are working outside of your direct system, which is where tools like VPNs, password managers, and antivirus software can help you nip those problems in the bud before your hybrid work model gets started.