80+ Essential Remote Work Statistics for 2023 – Productivity, Demographics & More

In a time where the boundaries between work and home have become increasingly blurred, understanding remote work statistics is essential for companies, employees, and job seekers.

The shift towards remote work has not only redefined workspaces but also reshaped organizational structures and individual work preferences.

This article assembles a detailed collection of key remote work statistics from diverse sources, offering you a big-picture view into the evolving world of remote employment.

Remote Work Statistics Highlights

  • In September 2023, 28% of workdays were worked remotely, a significant increase from 7% in 2019 (WFH Research, 2023).
  • In 2023, nearly a third of respondents desired 5 days of work from home per week (30%) (WFH Research, 2023).
  • In 2023, 70% of U.S. adults with remote work options felt a high level of trust in their managers when working remotely (Pew Research, 2023).
  • The top benefit of remote work in 2023 was flexibility in how respondents can spend their time (22%). However, the biggest struggle reported by remote workers was staying home too often due to a lack of reason to leave (33%) (Buffer, 2023).
  • Despite the growth in remote work, office occupancy in the U.S. surpassed 50% in September 2023, with the peak day of office occupancy reaching 60% (Kastle, 2023).

Remote Work Statistics: Trends and Preferences

The world of work has changed significantly, with the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating the adoption of remote working.

This section presents remote work statistics to demonstrate how the practice has evolved from being a niche arrangement to a mainstream way of working. It also delves into productivity, dynamics of trust, and job satisfaction in remote work settings.

Growth and Prevalence of Remote Work

According to remote work statistics, the pandemic permanently increased work from home in the U.S., equivalent to almost 40 years of pre-pandemic growth.

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While in 2019, an average of 7% of paid workdays were worked remotely, this climbed to 28% by September 2023.

(WFH Research, 2023)

By August 2023, 13% of full-time employees were fully remote, 57% were full-time on-site, and 30% were in a hybrid arrangement.

Remote work statistics: working arrangements

Working from home in August 2023 was most prevalent in the tech, finance, and professional & business services sectors.

The information sector (including part of tech) had people working an average of 2.39 days per week from home, followed by finance & insurance (2.22 days), and professional & business services (1.98 days).

(WFH Research, 2023)

Employee Preferences and Job Consideration

Remote work statistics: Research from Robert Half shows remote jobs are here to stay.

In 2022, remote work statistics showed that 87% of respondents considering a job change were interested in hybrid or fully remote positions.

(Robert Half, 2023)

In fact, between May and August 2023, nearly a third of respondents desired 5 days of work from home per week (30%), followed by those who wanted them “rarely or never” (19%).

(WFH Research, 2023)

Some were even willing to give up a bit of their paycheck for more time working remotely.

About 32% of people who were still going to the office at least once a week in 2022 wouldn’t have minded a smaller salary if they could have worked from home full-time. On average, they reported being fine with an 18% cut.

(Robert Half, 2023)

Trust and Job Satisfaction in Remote Work

In 2023, remote work stats revealed that most U.S. adults with remote work options who work from home at least some of the time (70%) said their manager or supervisor trusts them a great deal to get their work done when they’re doing so.

Those who work from home all the time are the most likely to feel trusted: 79% of these workers said their manager trusts them a great deal, compared with 64% of hybrid workers.

Hybrid workers feel about as trusted when they’re not working from home: 68% said their manager or supervisor trusts them a great deal to get their work done when they’re not working remotely.

(Pew Research, 2023)

However, in 2022, 54% of leaders feared productivity was negatively impacted by employees going remote or hybrid.

(Microsoft, 2022)

In fact, in 2022, a significant 85% of leaders faced challenges in maintaining confidence in employee productivity in a hybrid work environment. This trust issue was more pronounced among hybrid managers, with 49% struggling to trust their employees compared to 36% of in-person managers.

(Microsoft, 2022)

However, 77% of people who reported having the freedom to work when and where they’re at their best clocked in more hours in 2022 than they did three years prior.

Even with the longer days, nearly half of them (46%) were feeling more satisfied with their jobs.

(Robert Half, 2023)

Benefits and Challenges of Remote Work

Exploring remote work statistics reveals a fascinating interplay between the advantages and hurdles of this work model.

The shift to remote work has brought forward a spectrum of experiences, highlighting the flexibility and challenges faced by employees.

This section delves into remote work productivity statistics, employer-provided perks, and the struggles encountered, offering a comprehensive view of the remote work landscape.

Benefits of Remote Work

The top benefit of remote work in 2023 was cited to be flexibility in how the respondents can spend their time (22% of respondents).

It was closely followed by flexibility in where they choose to live (19%) and flexibility in choosing their work location (13%).

(Buffer, 2023)

In 2023, remote workers reported that there are certain things that are easier to do when remote – especially focusing on work (70% of respondents), managing stress (65%), and avoiding distractions (50%).

(Buffer, 2023)

In fact, in 2022, employees who worked exclusively from home reported being more engaged (30% of respondents) than hybrid employees (24%) or those working fully on-site (21%).

(Gallup, 2023).

Furthermore, in 2022, employees said that remote work brought about personal benefits. According to respondents:

  • 66% gained the flexibility to attend to family life
  • 62% said remote work enhances their morale
  • 61% experienced an improvement in their savings

Remote work statistics: Other impacts of remote work

(Zapier, 2022)

Indeed, in 2022, nearly half of Australian workers (48%) said that remote working can help reduce the cost of living, while another 22% said it about hybrid working.

Remote work statistics: cost of living

When asked what they don’t miss about working in the office, 20% said that they do not miss the extra expense of food/coffee/transport – up from 12% in 2021.

(Employment Hero, 2022)

The benefits were even seen on employers’ sides. In the fourth quarter of 2022 (Q4 2022), over one-third of senior middle-market executives (39%) stated that remote or hybrid work had a positive impact on their business’s culture.

That view was especially pronounced among the larger middle market firms, with 55% of executives citing a positive outcome on the firm’s culture.

(RSM, 2023)

Employer-Provided Benefits

Remote work statistics in 2023 indicated that employer-provided top benefits for American remote workers included:

  • Flexible hours (34% of employees and 40% of employers)
  • Work-provided equipment (26% of employees and 34% of employers)
  • Home office stipend (17% of employees and 20% of employers).

Flexible hours are important for both employees and employers since these benefit work-life balance.

When it comes to work-provided equipment, a large number of employees may prefer using their personal devices for work. However, employers often deem it essential to supply equipment that aligns with the company’s requirements and allows some level of control, such as device locking or activity monitoring.

For the home office stipend, it ranked third among employees and fifth among employers. This illustrates the diverse priorities regarding remote-work benefits.

(Forbes, 2023)

Challenges and Struggles of Remote Work

In 2023, remote work stats show that workers stated that their biggest struggle is that they stay home too often because they don’t have a reason to leave (33% of respondents).

Loneliness was the second most common struggle (23%), and not being able to unplug was the third most common (22%).

(Buffer, 2023)

Remote workers also struggle with setting work boundaries.

Many remote workers check work emails outside of work hours (81%), including those who do so on weekends (63%) and on vacation (34%).

Nearly half said that they frequently work outside of traditional work hours (48%) and that they worked more in 2023 than in 2022 (44%).

(Buffer, 2023)

Furthermore, in Q4 2022, more than two-thirds (69%) of middle market firms with employees working outside the office said that remote and hybrid work had impeded employee training and development. That’s up from 64% a year ago.

Remote work statistics: Bar graph showing share of leaders believing that remote work impeded employee training or development in Q4 2021 and 2022

(RSM, 2023)

Career Growth and Relationship Building

Remote work statistics 2023 indicated that other struggles with remote work included issues with career growth. These included getting recognized by leadership (37% of respondents), collaborating (30%), and getting promoted (28%).

(Buffer, 2023)

Ultimately, in 2022, the majority of managers (82%) who had hybrid teams stated that they believe everyone has a fair shot at moving up, whether they’re in the office or working remotely.

However, 42% of remote workers were worried about missing out on projects and promotions. For those working away from the office, managers suggested a few ways to stay in the game:

  • Regularly talking about career paths
  • Showing interest in learning and growing professionally
  • Stepping up to lead or help out with projects

(Robert Half, 2023)

Importantly, nearly half (43%) of leaders identified relationship-building as the most significant challenge in hybrid and remote environments in 2022.

Employees enjoying strong relationships with their immediate colleagues reported enhanced well-being compared to those with weaker connections (76% versus 57%). They also indicated increased productivity (50% versus 36%) and exhibited a lower propensity to switch employers in the upcoming year (61% versus 39%).

(Microsoft, 2022)

Furthermore, around 65% of professionals felt they connected better with colleagues they’ve met in person compared to those they haven’t. Plus, more people found it easier to work together in person (49%) than online (31%).

(Robert Half, 2023)

Company Policies and Support for Remote Work

In Q4 2022, remote work stats showed that 33% of senior middle-market executives reported having employees working remotely due to COVID-19 who were not doing so before.

In Q4 2021, this share was 36%, likely because COVID-19 infections were higher.

(RSM, 2023)

Interestingly, the severity of the impact of The Great Resignation in 2022 varied based on the level of remote work flexibility.

Remote-first organizations were often least negatively impacted (31% negatively impacted), especially compared to remote by-day (55% negatively impacted) or on-site first organizations (49% negatively impacted).

As a result, businesses are leveraging different tactics, including revisiting company policies and support structures, with the most commonly cited steps including increased schedule flexibility, increased compensation, and increased remote work options.

(Upwork, 2022)

This flexibility via remote working is also reflected in equipment use. In 2022, over half (52%) of organizations allowed remote access to corporate applications from personal laptops. Nearly the same share (51%) allowed access from personal mobile devices.

Only 17% allowed access only from company-managed laptops.

Remote work statistics: remote access to corporate applications via different devices

(Check Point, 2022)

Interestingly, some companies also provide the equipment.

In 2023, the majority of respondents reported that their companies paid for hardware that remote workers might need, like monitors, mice, etc. (64%). However, a quarter (25%) said that these items were not reimbursed, but they wished they were.

Meanwhile, less than half reported that their companies paid for office equipment like desks and chairs (40%), and nearly the same share reported these items were not reimbursed, but they wished they were (38%).

A small share of respondents stated that their companies pay for their home internet (28%). However, 44% were not reimbursed but wished they were.

For coworking memberships, only 22% said their companies paid for these, while 38% stated they wished their companies would pay for such memberships.

(Buffer, 2023)

Demographic Differences

In the spring of 2022, remote work stats made it clear that opportunities to work from home were not uniform in the U.S.

People who were younger, more educated, or had higher incomes tended to have more options to work remotely.

Furthermore, there was a large difference in the number of employed men who said they were offered remote-working opportunities (61%) and women (52%).

Remote work statistics: People in the U.S. and offers for remote work

(McKinsey, 2022)

At the same time, in 2022, there was a significantly higher preference among women for working from home compared to men.

  • Remote: Women: 46%, Men: 39%
  • Hybrid: Women: 34%, Men: 37%
  • In-office: Women: 19%, Men: 24%

(Owl Labs, 2022)

In fact, only 1 in 10 women reported preferring mostly on-site work in 2022.

(McKinsey, 2022)

Remote Work and Marginalized Groups

In 2022, 51% of Australian workers from marginalized groups said that workplace culture improved while they worked remotely.

In fact, 66% of marginalized groups agreed that remote work protects them from discrimination in the workplace and that remote work is better for people in marginalized groups. When coupled with the 61% who stated that they experienced discrimination at work, it becomes a powerful statistic.

Remote work statistics: marginalized groups

(Employment Hero, 2022)

Additionally, in 2023, Gen Zs and millennials who are ethnic minorities, LGBT+ respondents, and those with disabilities stated that they would contemplate a job change if required to work on-site full-time

(Deloitte, 2023)

Generational Perspectives on Remote Work

Remote work statistics: Bar graph showing work-from-home preference by age

In 2023, remote work stats showed who reported being keen on working from home:

  • 18–25 years old: 27%
  • 26–41 years old: 41%
  • 42–57 years old: 40%
  • 58–76 years old: 38%

Interest was highest among those likely to have child care or other responsibilities. Younger workers, likely in the early stages of their careers and earning less, might find working from home less comfortable or more distracting compared to more experienced workers.

(Forbes, 2023)

Before the pandemic, 36% of Gen Zs and 32% of millennials had hybrid/remote work patterns. Fast forward to 2023, these numbers increased to 61% for Gen Zs and 55% for millennials.

However, there’s still a gap between those desiring and those actually engaging in hybrid or remote work, especially among millennials. About 65% of Gen Zs and 64% of millennials desire such work patterns.

(Deloitte, 2023)

In 2021, nearly half (40%) of Gen Z would have quit a job that required them to go from working remotely to working in person at a physical office or location 5 days per week.

(GenHQ, 2022)

Despite working remotely, a significant percentage of Gen Z demonstrated that remote work doesn’t necessarily mean disconnected work. Of the Gen Z who worked remotely in 2021:

  • 65% felt more connected to their team
  • 62% reported being more productive
  • 58% felt more open and honest with their team
  • 53% said they trusted their team more

(GenHQ, 2022)

Return to Office and Future of Work

According to remote work stats, the landscape of work has seen a significant shift towards remote opportunities. According to LinkedIn, in March 2020, 1 in 67 U.S. jobs offered a remote work option. In 2022, that number was about 1 in 7 – and remote jobs on LinkedIn attracted 2.6 times more views and nearly 3 times more applicants compared to on-site roles.

(Microsoft, 2022)

In fact, in January 2023, 28% of all new job postings were advertised as remote.

(Robert Half, 2023)

Reflecting this shift, over half (52%) of executives from middle-market firms indicated that, in Q4 2022, they were sourcing talent for remote work from a wider geographical area than they did before COVID-19. This was an increase from a year earlier (Q4 2021) when 49% of executives responded in a similar manner.

Remote work statistics: looking for talent in wider geo area

(RSM, 2023).

However, despite the growing prevalence and appeal of remote work, there has been a notable return to the office. As of September 20, 2023, office occupancy in the U.S. went beyond 50% for the second week in a row (at 50.4%). This weekly average has not been this high since January 2023.

The peak day of office occupancy was Tuesday, 19 September, with a 60% occupancy rate, the highest for a single day since the pandemic began. Friday, 15 September, saw the lowest at 33%.

These new highs hint at a trend of more people getting back to in-person work, especially considering the over three-percentage-point increase in occupancy post-Labor Day. This aligns with the patterns observed in the last three years, where the latter half of September typically saw sustained rises in occupancy.

(Kastle, 2023)

Amidst these changes, the sentiments of employees and business decision-makers have been mixed.

A majority of employees (73%) and business decision-makers (78%) articulated the need for better reasons to return to the office beyond company expectations.

Socializing emerged as a key motivator, with 84% of employees expressing a willingness to return to the office for interaction with co-workers.

(Microsoft, 2022)

Security and Technology

Remote work statistics: applications used by company employees for corporate email and collab

The adoption of digital collaboration tools has been pivotal in the transition to remote work. In 2022, 74% of organizations used Office365 email and collaboration apps like Teams, SharePoint, and OneDrive. Only 32% reported using on-premises email services like Microsoft Exchange.

(Check Point, 2022)

This shift towards online platforms has necessitated a reevaluation of security measures to protect organizational assets and users. The following security measures were used by organizations to help secure their remote workforce:

(Check Point, 2022)

Delving deeper into organizational practices, it was found that of those organizations allowing remote access to corporate apps:

(Check Point, 2022)

Furthermore, of the organizations allowing remote access to corporate apps from personal mobile phones (51%), only 18% use mobile threat defense solutions to protect their corporate assets and users.

(Check Point, 2022)

While technology has enabled continuity in work, it has also brought about challenges. In 2022, there was a global increase of 153% in the number of virtual meetings per week since the pandemic’s onset. Overlapping meetings saw a rise of 46% per person, contributing to 48% of employees and 53% of managers feeling burned out at work.

Additionally, 42% of participants admitted to multitasking during meetings.

(Microsoft, 2022)

The Bottom Line

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly transformed the work landscape, making remote work a mainstream arrangement, especially in tech, finance, and professional services.

Employees are showing a preference for hybrid and fully remote positions, with some even accepting salary cuts for such flexibility. While remote work offers numerous benefits like flexibility and improved work-life balance, it also brings challenges such as loneliness, boundary-setting, and concerns about productivity.

Employers are adapting by offering various benefits, but issues like career growth and relationship-building remain. Demographic and generational differences in access and preferences are notable, with technology playing a crucial role in enabling remote work and presenting new challenges.

Remote work statistics reflect this ongoing evolution, highlighting the balancing act between the diverse needs and preferences of the workforce and the benefits and challenges of remote work, shaping the future of employment.

FAQs

How many people work from home in 2023?

What are the key benefits and challenges of remote work?

How have employee preferences and job considerations evolved before and after COVID-19?

Are there any demographic differences in remote work opportunities and preferences?

Sources

WFH Research, 2023

Robert Half, 2023

Pew Research, 2023

Microsoft, 2022

Buffer, 2023

Gallup, 2023

Zapier, 2022

Employment Hero, 2022

RSM, 2023

Forbes, 2023

Upwork, 2022

Check Point, 2022

McKinsey, 2022

Owl Labs, 2022

Deloitte, 2023

GenHQ, 2022

Kastle, 2023

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Maria Webb
Technology journalist

Maria is a technology journalist with over five years of experience with a deep interest in AI and machine learning. She excels in data-driven journalism, making complex topics both accessible and engaging for her audience. Her work is prominently featured on Techopedia, Business2Community, and Eurostat, where she provided creative technical writing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours in English and a Master of Science in Strategic Management and Digital Marketing from the University of Malta. Maria's background includes journalism for Newsbook.com.mt, covering a range of topics from local events to international tech trends.