Work From Home Fall 2020: Where We Are
Where do we stand with this “new normal” — coming into the fall?
Even before the pandemic has forced many businesses to switch to working remotely, remote work was repeatedly proclaimed as the “new normal” and a trend that’s here to stay. Of course, now more than ever the workforce is affected by the novel coronavirus and stay-at-home orders.
Let’s take a look at the remote work trends and statistics before and after the virus has hit globally: the remote-working growth, what changed since before the pandemic, what companies have gone partially or completely remote, (and for how long); and what employees think about the very likely prospect that remote work is not going anywhere.
Remote Work Was Up Even Before the Pandemic
As far as back in February 2020, FlexJobs reported some key statistics that clearly showed just how widespread — and growing quickly — the working-remotely setup was. Take a look:
- 74% of respondents in one annual survey believed that flexible work has become the “new normal,” with 80% saying they would turn down the job that didn’t offer a flexible schedule.
- 83% of U.S. businesses introduced a flexible workspace policy over the last 10 years or were planning to introduce one.
- Between 2016 to 2017, remote work grew 7.9%. Over the last five years, it grew 44%, and over the previous 10 years, it grew 91%.
- In 2015, 3.9 million U.S. workers were working remotely. As of February 2020, that number was at 4.7 million.
The State of Remote Work in Fall 2020
So, how are the workforce and working remotely affected by the pandemic? Here are some telling stats from September of this year:
- 55% of businesses globally offer some capacity for remote work
- 18% of the workforce telecommute on a full-time basis
- 77% of telecommuters report being more productive
- 99% of remote workers want to continue telecommuting in the future
- 90% of remote workers would recommend working remotely to a friend
According to FlexJobs, 4.7 million people (which make about 3.4% of the U.S. workforce) were already working remotely from home before the COVID-19 pandemic. How do things stand now? Here are some numbers:
- Per Gartner, 88% of business organizations worldwide mandated or encouraged all their employees to work from home as the virus started to spread at exponential rates. About 97% of the organizations immediately canceled all work-related travel.
- 52% of global employees work remotely once a week, and 68% do so at least once per month. At the same time, 3.44% of companies globally don’t allow remote work.
- According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 57% of employees in the financial industry can work from home, but only 14% of workers in the transport and utilities industry can do so. Overall, 16% of remote workers are managers.
- As of April 2020, 67% of organizations reported an increase in spending on web conferencing software. Zoom was one of the most widely used apps, with 300 million daily users as of last April — no surprise there.
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