Remote work is changing around the world. Employers are beginning to adopt more flexible and remote work policies -- and for a good reason. Our new survey data revealed that employees who work from home at least once a month are 24% more likely to feel happy and productive at work than their desk-bound colleagues.

Additionally, companies have the opportunity to save money by allowing employees to work remote. Our 2017 State of Remote Work found that companies that allow remote work see 25% less turnover than those who don't.

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Before we dive into the remote work statistics, it's important to note that even the language around remote work has developed drastically over the past few years. Telecommuting has turned into virtual work, which later evolved into remote work or working from home. The ability to switch among remote options then birthed the hybrid team. Here is a refresher on the lingo for discussing flexible work options.

  • Companies that don't allow remote work: These companies require employees to work from an in-person office and do not have an option to work remotely.
  • Fully remote companies: These companies are also known as distributed companies, and are completely remote with no headquarters or office options. Employees at fully remote companies work from home, workspaces, or wherever they choose.
  • Hybrid companies: These companies offer both remote and in-office options. Employees have the ability to choose to work remotely, from an office or shared workspace, or alternate between the two.

For the latest Global State of Remote Work report, we gathered data from over 3,000 respondents across six continents. Employees ranged from ages 18-65+ and across industries, including technology and marketing, healthcare and medical, hospitality, transportation, and more. We've also collected data from other reputable survey reports to add to the list. Keep reading to learn more about the adoption of remote work across various industries.


Remote Work & Telecommuting Statistics for 2019

Some of the key findings about remote work, hybrid teams, and work from home practices around the world include:

1. 44% of global companies don't allow remote work. (Owl Labs)

2. 16% of global companies are fully remote. (Owl Labs)

3. 40% of global companies are hybrid. (Owl Labs)

4. 52% of employees around the world work from home at least once per week. (Owl Labs)

5. 68% of global employees work from home at least once per month. (Owl Labs)

6. 18% of employees work remotely full time. (Owl Labs)

7. 35% of respondents agree that remote work provides more opportunities for quality employment. (Owl Labs)

8. 53% of respondents worldwide feel happy and productive at work. (Owl Labs)

9. When compared to the global average, South America has 81% more fully-remote companies. (Owl Labs)

10. 52% of employees around the world report working from home at least once per week, with 21% working from home more than once per week, 18% always working from home, and 13% one day per week. (Owl Labs)

11. 32% of employees report never or being unable to work from home. (Owl Labs)

12. Men across the globe are 8% more likely than women to work remotely. (Owl Labs)

13. Full-time remote workers are twice as likely to be individual contributors vs. people managers. (Owl Labs)

14. The primary reason employees reported working from home was for better focus and increased productivity. The second-biggest reason was to reduce their commute. (Owl Labs)

15. Those who work remotely at least once per month are 24% more likely to be happy and productive in their roles than those who can't or don't work remotely. (Owl Labs)

16. Companies that allow remote work experience 25% less employee turnover than companies that do not allow remote work. (Owl Labs)

17. Small companies are twice as likely to hire remote employees. (Owl Labs)

18. Brainstorms are the most challenging meetings to follow and participate in when working remotely. (Owl Labs)

19. Those who identify most with the physical learning style (using experiences, simulations, and physical objects) are 56% likelier than the average to be fully remote. (Owl Labs)

20. 3.9 million Americans reported working from home sometimes or working remotely full-time in 2018. (FlexJobs)

21. 69% of millennials will trade other work benefits for flexible workspace options. (IWG)

22. Telecommuting increased by 22% between 2017 and 2018. (FlexJobs)

23. The biggest challenge remote workers cite is being able to unplug after working hours. (Buffer)

24. Most companies don't cover costs associated with remote work, such as internet fees or membership at co-working spaces. (Buffer)

25. Every year, U.S. remote workers prevent 3.6 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere by not commuting. (Global Workplace Analytics)

26. According to FlexJobs' Annual Survey, 77% of people said having a flexible job would allow them to be healthier (eat better, exercise more, etc.) and 86% said they’d be less stressed. (FlexJobs)

27. 76% of respondents said they'd be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options. (FlexJobs)

28. 97% of workers say a job with flexibility would have a huge improvement or positive impact on their overall quality of life. (FlexJobs)

29. A study of 25,000 workers found that nearly 3 in 4 respondents say remote work helps them with work/life balance. (SHRM)

30. More than one-third of workers say they work remotely to care for their children. (SHRM

To learn more about remote work, read the latest Global State of Remote Work report, and read about how to achieve remote work-life balance next.

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