New Research: 2019 Remote Work Statistics

August 21, 2019      By Ultimate Software

Ultimate Takeaway
  • 23% of the U.S. workforce works remotely at least part of the time
  • Recent research shows remote workers are less stressed, more successful, and more productive than in-office peers
  • Technology plays an integral role in helping managers communicate with and manage their remote workforce

The future of work is in flux. Emerging technology has enabled an “anywhere, anytime” workplace, and both employees and employers are reaping the benefits. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 23% of the workforce works remotely at least part of the time—yet remote workers are frequently perceived as being somewhat disconnected from the rest of the workforce.

Are remote workers really being left behind? What do remote work statistics suggest?

2019 Remote Work Statistics

We surveyed a total of 1,000 working full-time in the United States to determine the true state of the remote workforce. The sample was provided by MarketCube, a research-panel company, and half of the respondents worked in-office while the other half worked primarily in remote locations, such as from home or in the field.

We learned that remote workers are not just surviving—they’re thriving.

Reduced Stress

The average American spends 25.4 minutes commuting, though some areas (such as New York and San Francisco) are prone to “mega-commuting”, where commutes can be 90 minutes or more. Commuting is stressful for a multitude of reasons, and researchers found that each extra minute of commuting time reduces both job and leisure time satisfaction, increases strain, and worsens mental health.

Most remote workers report that their working location enables them to stress less. Working from home has other advantages as well—no dress code, reduced automotive expenses, and easy access to healthy/affordable meals, to name a few.

Digital Connections

It turns out, face time doesn’t make or break the manager/employee relationship. In fact, remote work statistics showed that many in-office managers reported having more trouble delivering feedback than their remote peers! Managing remote employees presents different challenges than managing in-office ones, but technology can play a key role in helping managers understand their employees’ needs, communicate effectively, and track productivity.

Technology is also helping remote workers build better relationships. A full 75% of remote workers say technology helps them maintain personal connections with their in-office counterparts, largely through innovative chat platforms and video conferencing. Nearly a third (30%) of all employees are using technology platforms on a regular basis for giving and receiving feedback. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, remote workers are slightly more likely to be engaging with these online employee-feedback forums than their in-office counterparts.

Promotion Potential

Perhaps most surprising of these remote work statistics, we found that remote workers were 40% more likely to have been promoted in the past year than their in-office workers and 27% more likely to feel there is opportunity for growth in their current job. The discrepancy for both promotions and growth was particularly significant for female employees.

To learn more about this study and review the full research findings, including insight about sexual harassment, generational differences, and employees’ interactions with HR, download the 2019 State of Remote Work Report.

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