During the pandemic and lockdowns, most companies had no choice but to require employees to work remotely. Now that the necessity of remote work arrangements no longer exists, many employers are looking over their work arrangements. Should remote work be retained? Should some hybrid work arrangement be crafted? Should all employees be required to return to the workplace? There are pros and cons for each of these options. What’s best for employees and what’s best for companies? There are no clear answers, but some statistics to note about preferences.
Statistics about remote work arrangement preferences
What employees want
According to Buffer’s State of Remote Work 2023, 98% of those surveyed (of which 53% were employees, 43% were independent contractors/freelancers, and 4% were owners with at least one employee) want to work remotely…at least some of the time, and for the rest of their careers. Only one percent had a negative experience working remotely. The biggest benefit of remote work is the flexibility afforded to workers—their hours and where they choose to live. The greatest struggles were staying home too much and being lonely. Most have managed to set work-life boundaries when working remotely. But the jury is still out on the impact that remote work has on career growth, with more than a third (36%) saying it has no impact while more than a quarter (28%) think remote work makes it more difficult to advance.
What’s best for the company
According to the same study, more than half of workers worldwide (64%) are fully remote, which is even greater than the percentage in the 2022 survey. From the company perspective, 8% are not allowing or planning to allow any remote work. In fact, a number of major corporations—Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and Twitter are ending remote work. The vast majority, however, are on board with remote work arrangements. For example, Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Salesforce are requiring at least 3 days a week at the office. Companies permitting remote work arrangements have found that their employees can work with others across different time zones and manage to have regular meetings. Companies are paying the expenses of remote work, from hardware and office supplies to internet access and coworking subscriptions to online platforms.
According to 70% of remote workers, they aren’t paid less due to their work arrangement. But more than a third of companies (35%) tie employee’s pay to their location, although the trend is toward pay regardless of location.
Companies benefit from remote work arrangements by:
- Having the ability to get and retain the best talent
- Needing less commercial space.
But remote work arrangements can complicate matters for companies. They may have to register their business in multiple locations. They have to contend with income tax withholding rules that vary from state to state.
Remote work arrangements are here to stay. It’s been said that full-time office work is “dead”. Companies need to adapt to a remote work environment and find ways to keep employees connected to the employer as well as their co-workers.