What you thought about remote work probably is only half true (results from our worldwide survey)

We asked over 500 people worldwide about their experiences of working remotely in a team. Here's what we found!

August 17, 2021
Remote work survey cover

We’ll bet our bottom dollar that you’ve either heard, read about, or even uttered these two words this past year: Remote work. It’s one of the hottest topics since most of the world got a taste of what it’s like to work from their pajamas home. 😉

With so many opinions and varying stories about remote work, we wanted to go directly to the people experiencing it. We asked more than 500 people worldwide about their experiences. 

Our remote work survey goal: to discover the truth about common stereotypes like “company culture can't be built remotely” or “in-person communication is more effective than virtual chats”. Here’s what we found.

Remote work is for nomads with wanderlust

Verdict: False ❎ 

For the longest time, remote work upheld this image of traveling digital nomads who made their money working online while posting beachy Instagram photos captioned #travelgoals.

From our remote work survey results, these stereotypes need some rewiring. People are choosing remote work for many other, more personal reasons such as well-being, family time, and the flexibility to plan the day.

The main reasons people want to work remotely

And after getting a taste of these life-changing benefits, 87% of the remote work survey respondents said they’d like to work remotely for the rest of their careers!

Percentage of people wanting to work remotely

A large portion (39% of all respondents) are either a parent or caregiver, indicating that remote work has the potential to improve their other important responsibilities.

Remote culture only works in smaller companies

Verdict: False 

If you think remote companies have to be small to succeed with a healthy culture, you’ll just have to ask our COO Ilma about her journey. As The Remote Company surpassed the 50-employee mark, she feared that the small, engaged ‘family’ team atmosphere would disappear as we grew into a larger organization.

Then our team size doubled. Then it tripled…

But by introducing additional team-building exercises and new structures (like our handbook), we managed to maintain the welcoming environment that we worked so hard to establish.

We’ve experienced first-hand that company culture can be built remotely—no matter the size. You don’t have to bring people together in an office to remain connected as your business grows. Think about it, most of our day-to-day communication is already virtual even when we’re in person!

And most of the people in our remote work statistics agree:

Remote work culture statistics

The overwhelming YES is especially remarkable as 33% work in a company with 101-500 employees and 22% have over 500 colleagues.

People love remote work more than Netflix

Verdict: True ✅

If remote work was a product, it would beat out popular brands like Apple and Netflix for customer affinity! Our remote work survey participants gave remote work an average Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 70. That’s super impressive!

For those of you not familiar with NPS, it is an indicator of people’s loyalty and satisfaction and comes from asking people the question: “How likely would you recommend remote work to your friends?” 

NPS can vary from minus 100 to 100 and is the difference between loyal customers and detractors. The score can be negative when a company has more detractors than promoters, and positive in the opposite situation. 

The NPS for remote work is (77% promoters - 7% detractors) 70%. In this MailerLite blog, you can read how NPS is calculated in more detail.

By comparison, popular brands that are heavily intertwined in our daily lives, like Netflix (56) and Apple (53), don’t come close to the loyalty people express towards remote work.

The only thing people are more likely to recommend is a cup of good old Starbucks (77), which, as a remote company connected by coffee, we can’t really argue with. 😉

Some people would only return to the office for "one billion dollars"

Verdict: Partly true ✅

There’s no price for freedom, they say. Except when you have one billion dollars to spare. 🤑

When asked what would make people accept an office job offer, one remote worker vowed to only sign the contract for one billion dollars. Another would only return to a nine-to-five office life in the event of an apocalypse. The remaining group was a little easier to persuade.

Top reasons to accept an office job offer:

  1. Salary increase (many indicated that it needs to be substantially more)

  2. Hybrid workplace

  3. Job role

  4. Short commute

  5. Health insurance

Overall, our remote work statistics found that people could consider office jobs, but the lack of remote possibilities needs to be made up for elsewhere in the job offer.

Businesses that revert back to their full-time office policy and don’t adapt to a hybrid or remote-first structure might find it harder to maintain employee satisfaction and attract new talent.

Challenge more remote work beliefs!

We covered just a few of the many interesting remote work statistics we found! In our remote work survey report, we’ll challenge more stereotypes and pair our data to see whether each statement is true or false.

Discover what remote workers have to say about statements like:

  • “Businesses will return to the office after the pandemic”

  • “Teams are more productive in an office environment”

  • “Remote workers love working with their laptop in cafés”

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