28 stats about remote work in 2020

Remote work statistics for 2020

A decade ago, the idea that a company could function without a central office full of staff would have been laughed out of most meeting rooms. Many believed that high levels of productivity were unachievable at home, where managers couldn’t keep an eye on their direct reports.

However, as a result of modern technology, working outside of a company’s office and having the flexibility to work remotely is now a key factor for many job seekers when evaluating career opportunities.

As the benefits of remote working become well recognized, business executives are becoming more comfortable with the idea that work is fluid and can happen anywhere at any time. Increasing numbers of organizations are also understanding that simply having a body to fill an office chair is not always worth the extra expense, nor is it more effective at achieving goals.

Flexible working conditions have shown to generate happy and more productive employees, which in turn improves employee retention. Remote work also enables companies to hire from a more diverse talent pool, as remote working removes the geographical barrier of only hiring local candidates.

We're also experiencing an unprecedented surge in remote work now in 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic changes our day-to-day lives and millions of employees have had to adapt to work from home.

Although working remotely is currently a temporary measure, the outbreak of COVID-19 could cause a permanent shift towards flexible working as many employees (and their bosses) may start to question why they had to go into the office in the first place.

The remote work statistics to know about in 2020


To quantify the changes happening to our work habits, keep reading for our compilation of 28 insightful stats about remote work in 2020...


How remote work is changing

  1. Working remotely has grown 159% since 2005 globally. (Merchant Savvy)

  2. Approximately 16% of global companies hire only full-time remote workers. (Owl Labs)

  3. 44% of global companies don’t allow remote work at all. (Owl Labs)

  4. 77% of global businesses are using flexible workspace policies of varying degrees to attract and retain top talent. (IWG)

  5. At least 56% of the US workforce holds a job that is partially compatible with remote work, but currently only 3.6% of the employee workforce works at home half of the time or more. (Global Workplace Analytics)

  6. By 2030, it is estimated that the US could see an economic boost of $4.5 trillion annually from flexible working, while China could gain $1.4 trillion extra annually. (IWG)

  7. 20% of people would be willing to take a paycut of more than 10% in order to work remotely. (Owl Labs)

  8. 2 in 3 knowledge-based workers think that the office will be obsolete by 2030. (Zapier)

  9. 98% of employees before the COVID-19 outbreak wanted to work from home at least some of the time for the rest of their careers. (Buffer)

  10. 83% of employees reported that the ability to work flexibly at least some of the time would act as a decider between two similar job offers. (IWG)

Benefits of remote working and WFH in 2020

  1. 67% of business leaders think that remote work and flexibility can improve productivity by at least a fifth. (IWG)

  2. Half-time telecommuters save 11 days a year by not traveling to work. These employees also save an estimated $4,000 per year by working remotely due to reduced travel, parking and food costs. (Global Workplace Analytics)

  3. 80% of remote workers experience less job stress. (Flexjobs)

  4. Working from home half the week can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 54 million tons every year. (Global Workspace Analytics)

  5. 32% of workers said the biggest benefit of working remotely is the ability to have a flexible schedule, 26% stated the ability to work from anywhere, 21% was not having to commute and 11% spending time with family. (Buffer)

  6. Companies that encourage remote work in the U.S have a 25% lower employee turnover than those that don’t. (Owl Labs)

  7. In the U.S, 26% of remote workers earn more than $100,000 per annum, whilst only 8% of onsite workers earn more than $100,000 per annum. (Owl Labs)

Stats showing the impact of COVID-19 on remote work and the adoption of cloud apps

  1. An estimated 16 million US knowledge workers shifted to remote work as of March 27 due to COVID-19. (Slack)

  2. 30% of employees are predicted to remain remote after the pandemic is over. (TechRepublic)

  3. Zoom has gained 2.2 million more active users in the first two months of 2020 than all of 2019. (CNBC)

  4. 775% increase in Microsoft Teams’ calling and meeting monthly users in Italy since social distancing orders have been enforced. (Azure)

  5. 417,000 business apps were downloaded across iOS and Google Play in Italy during the week of February 22. As of March 3, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams and Zoom Cloud Meetings were the top 3 business apps. (TechRepublic)

  6. Smartsheet, a company that provides personalized collaborative work management solutions, is currently used in 84,000 companies in 190 countries. (Forbes)

  7. Slack, the workplace communication tool for messaging and files, now has a valuation of $7 billion. Enterprise video conferencing could be a $10.5 billion market by 2026. (CNN)

The demographic of remote workers in 2020

  1. 23% of remote workers consider themselves freelancers, and another 10% reported themselves as business owners. (Buffer)

  2. 29% of completely remote companies have women CEOs, founders or presidents. This compares to 6.4% of women CEOs in all Fortune 500 companies. (Remote)

  3. 12% of remote workers in the U.S are in the professional, scientific and technical services industry, followed by 10% in the information industry. (Global Workspace Analytics)

  4. The highest proportion of U.S remote workers amongst job levels were the Founders/C-Level Executives and Vice-President Level at 55% and 48% respectively. (Owl Labs)

About Lucy Fuggle

Lucy Fuggle writes for PieSync, the two-way contact sync tool for hundreds of apps. She also works with her clients to make their brand matter with a content-rich marketing strategy.