Remote Work Statistics 2021: How Many People Work From Home During Covid?

Last Updated: December 1, 2021



Remote Work Statistics You Need to Know in 2021
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At some point in your life, you’ve probably been curious about the idea of remote work. Well, we think that right now is the perfect time to start thinking really seriously about it and whether it is a good fit for your lifestyle.

More and more people are opting to work from home with the current status of the world as it fights against a raging pandemic, and while a lot of companies are requiring this, a lot of it is voluntary as well.

Let’s take a look at some of the most important remote work statistics you need to know.

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Key Remote Work Statistics

  • 55% of brands around the world offer some opportunities for remote work
  • 3.4% of Americans worked from home before the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 18% of the workforce telecommute full-time during COVID-19
  • 77% of people telecommuting say they are more productive
  • 16% of companies globally are fully remote
  • 37% of remote workers believe the best way to increase productivity is to have regular breaks
  • 30% of telecommuters save almost $5000 per year
  • $11,000 is how much businesses save each year for each worker that works from home half the time
  • People who work remotely earn on average $4000 more every year
  • 99% of remote workers wish to keep with their schedule in the future
  • 90% of remote workers recommend it

There are many companies that have let their staff work remotely during the pandemic, but there were already a lot of companies doing so before the pandemic hit.

However, now it feels like the new normal, as more and more businesses have opted to let their workers work from home due to health and safety requirements.

If you are an employee and you are wanting to know more about remote work, or you are an employer who is hoping to work out whether remote work is better than working in the office when it comes to your staff, this article is what you need.

Let’s take a look at the most interesting remote work statistics out there right now which can give you a good idea of the current trends.

Statistics About Working From Home Before and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

Remote Work

Let’s take a look at some statistics around remote work both before and after the current COVID pandemic.

4.7 Million People Were Already Working at Home Before the Pandemic.

This makes up roughly 3.4% of the American workforce. This had increased by 1% from 2015.

18% of People Work Away from The Office Full-Time During COVID-19

This means that almost 2 out of 10 people are working full-time from their homes.

88% of Businesses Encouraged Their Employees to Work from Home After the Pandemic Was Declared.

And a lot of them made it mandatory. Additionally, 97% of the businesses that did this also canceled all travel that was work-related.

Statistics Around Remote Workers

44% of Companies Around the World Won’t Allow Remote Work

This might look like it’s a lot, but it’s actually not. Think about it – this means that 56% of businesses around the world are prepared to offer remote work for their employees, which is definitely the majority.

52% of Employees Around the World Work from Home Once a Week, and The Stat for Once a Month Is 68%

This means that more people are working from home even every month than those that aren’t working at home at all.

This is of course going to look different for different businesses and roles, and it could mean working overtime in the evenings or at the weekend, and in other cases, remote work might be part of the regular routine.

2.9% of The Complete American Workforce Work from Home at Least Half the Time

This means that 3.9 million employees in America spend most of their time working out of the office.

There are a lot of people out there that still seem to think that working from home, or away from the office, is a relatively obscure thing. However, based on stats like these, it’s safe to say that it’s definitely not.

American Remote Work Has Increased by 173% Between 2005 and 2018

This means that if you are an employer, offering your employees the opportunity to work from home is looking like a more plausible prospect.

We don’t think that this is a passing trend that is going to blow over once the pandemic finally goes away. Technology and innovation have contributed a lot to this movement.

Working from Home Productivity Stats

Working from Home

Naturally, one of the most common concerns when it comes to asking your employees to work from home is whether they are going to be productive or not. The following statistics might serve to surprise you.

77% of Employees that Are Remote Say They Are More Productive when They Work from Home

Who would have thought it?

37% of Workers Working from Home Say that Taking Breaks Is Key to Productivity

A survey showed that taking regular breaks from work was the most effective approach when working remotely for productivity.

So, if you want to work from home, then just make sure that you are taking regular breaks from your work, so that you can keep those productivity levels high.

Productivity Stats Around Telecommuting

Creating Set Work Hours if The Most Effective Method to Staying Productive for 33% of People Working from Home

The same people who took the survey said that one of the ways that they increased productivity was by setting specific work hours.

What’s interesting about this is that it’s also the most effective method for increasing productivity in offices worldwide.

80% of Remote Workers Say that Remote Work Is Less Stressful

The majority of people who are working from home say that in general, they experience less stress. Of course, this doesn’t mean that they are completely immune to stress, but they do say that it has decreased their stress levels significantly.

75% of Remote Workers Say that There Are Fewer Distractions

The majority of people working from home say that they are less distracted in their home environment than they would be if they worked at the office. This means that they are able to get more work done at home.

Remote Work Advantages and Disadvantages

Before we look at the downsides, let’s look at the upsides. There are a lot of reasons why you might want to test the waters when it comes to remote work.

53% of American Remote Workers Consider the Flexible Schedule as The Biggest Benefit

Of course, it’s hard to argue this. Remote works in Australia, the UK, and Canada all say that the fact that they can be flexible with their schedule means that they can easily adapt their work-from-home life to their family life. It also means that they are able to work when they feel their best.

American Businesses that Allow for Remote Work Have a 25% Lower Employee Turnover Rate

This suggests that working from home can improve satisfaction and well-being when it comes to your employees. At the end of the day, workers who are happy are going to be better at what they do.

There are a few downsides too, though.

There Was a 9% Increase in The Google Search ‘team building’ in 2020

This is one of the more interesting Google stats. This means that employers who have people working from home are struggling to still be part of a team from a distance.

Of course, this comes as no surprise. This is just something that you need to think about if you are considering implementing remote work into your general approach.

There is an advantage to this as well, though. It shows that companies are really thinking about the well-being of their employees, as they are attempting to make remote working a success in the long run.

19% of People Who Work from Home Say They Are Lonely

Unfortunately, not as much facetime with your boss and colleagues does have its downsides. Loneliness appears to be one of the bigger issues that businesses are trying to deal with.

If this carries on for too much longer, then there could be a decrease in people’s emotional and psychological well-being, which might see a greater need for good therapy that’s available online.

The good news is that there are a lot of options out there to help combat this issue.

54% of IT Professionals Believe that People Who Work from Home Are a Security Risk

As soon as an employee is not on-site, then it becomes a lot harder to control the security infrastructure of the company. Companies will need to take the necessary steps to make sure that there aren’t issues with data breaches.

20% of People Working from Home Say that Communication Is an Issue

Not having an office to report to can make it difficult when it comes to the communication side of things.

Working Remotely Stats by Industry

There are going to be some jobs out there that are really easy to do remotely, while others pose a bit more of a challenge.

55% of American Workers Say that Remote Work Can Do Well in Their Industry

There is a strong belief that remote work can work in the majority of industries. This is more prevalent in industries that have embraced the technological revolution like media, finance, and software.

57% of Employees in The Financial Industry Can Work Remotely

It is no surprise that the biggest percentage of people who can work from home are in finance.

14% of Employees in Utilities and Transport Industries Can Work from Home

These industries have the lowest percentage of people that can work from home. This is because their jobs are just too practical to be done from home.

16% of People Working from Home Are Managers

Most of the people who are working from home are managers, and in general, people who work from home tend to hold a higher position in the company that they work for.

Remote Work Income Stats

30% of People Working from Home Save Upwards of $5000

Or $5240 to be exact. This is because they are spending less on things like commuting and eating out. Think about what you would be able to do with that kind of money.

Companies Would Save $11,000 Every Year per Employee Working from Home

It’s not just employees that save if they work from home. Their company can save as well, because there is less overhead to worry about.

Remote Workers Earn $4000 More than Non-Remote Workers

So, not only are people who work from home saving more money, but they are earning more as well.

25% of Employees Would Have Their Pay Cut to Work from Home

There is the potential to earn more money if you work from home, but some people are so keen to do so that they are prepared to take a 10% pay cut.

Trends Around Working from Home

Working from Home

67% of Companies Say that They Are Spending More on Online Conferencing Software

Companies that have a big digital output of course understand how important it is to have reliable software so that it can connect with their employees every day when they are working from home.

25% of Companies Will Move 10% of Their Workforce to Permanent Working-From-Home Positions After Covid

One of the things that the pandemic has shown us is how many people can be working from home.

99% of People Working Remotely Say that They Would Like to Keep Doing So

When it comes to remote work, the overwhelming majority of people want to be able to keep doing it, according to this statistic. Employees love the increased freedom, flexibility, and independence that this move offers.

42% of Employees Working from Home Plan to Do so More Often Over the Next Five Years

Almost half of people who have the choice to work from home plan to do so more in the next few years.

73% of Teams Will Include People Working from Home by 2028

This statistic is incredibly significant, and highlights that this is a permanent move and not just a passing trend.

69% of Younger Managers Let Their Team Work from Home

This is a bigger chunk than older managers who are a bit stuck in older ways.

Zoom Is the Most Used App to Help with Virtual Collaboration

As most of the workforce quickly tried to adapt to the ever-changing world of the pandemic, Zoom swooped in and saved a lot of companies who were struggling to get on board with communicating with their workers remotely.

86% of Businesses Have Implemented a Covid-Related Policy

Most companies have figured out a policy that relates to work absences as a result of COVID, showing how much the pandemic has infiltrated every workplace in America and beyond over the last couple of years.

30% of The Workforce Will Be Working from Home by The End of 2021

This is another pretty important statistic that shows how prevalent working from home has become.

The Future of Remote Work After COVID

Work After COVID

74% of Businesses Plan to Transfer Some of Their Workers to Remote Work Permanently

This implies that the pandemic has presented a new normal to the current workforce, something that won’t be forgotten about when we are finally able to resume a somewhat normal existence.

Final Thoughts

The statistics that you read about above show that remote work is a thing not only of the present but of the future as well.

Working from home has become more and more popular over the last few years, and the pandemic has only spurred it on even more.

However, this doesn’t mean that it’s not presenting a few challenges along the way.

There are some industries that can’t really send their workers home, but at the end of the day, as we forward, it’s important to explore the options, whether it is allowing more flexibility to your staff or being able to cut costs, remote work comes with a surprising number of benefits that might end up changing the way we see work.



Written by Jason

Hi! I’m the editor at EarthWeb. I have a deep interest in technology and business. I also enjoy testing products out. Contact me to be featured!