The State of Remote Work - December 2021 Q4 Quarterly Report

State of the Remote Work Reports

What Does the State of Remote Work Look Like as We Wrap Up 2021?

Are people tired of working remotely, or are they avoiding a return to the office for as long as they can?

We’ll explore employee sentiments in recent surveys and discuss COVID-19’s lingering impact in our latest State of Remote Work report.

If this is your first time here, welcome!

We’re happy to have you, and we can’t wait to dive into the current remote work statistics and trends.

If you’re a returning reader, thank you so much for joining us again! We also have some exciting new remote work updates to share with you.

We’ll be highlighting predictions for how the end of 2021 might look for remote work and what the future holds as we move into 2022.

We promise to keep this report short and sweet since we know your time is valuable and limited. So grab your cup of coffee or tea, and buckle in for the latest intel on remote work:

The Top 4 Remote Work Trends You Need To Know in December 2021


1. Working from home used to be reserved for a select few; now it’s what the majority of employees want.

Long before the pandemic hit and remote work took off, a mere 7% of the population had the privilege of working from home. This perk was typically reserved for white-collar professionals and managers, according to Everhour.

Fast forward to today, and:

  • 57% of surveyed professionals say they prefer their new work from home life (Owl Labs)

  • 59% of employees now favor companies who offer remote work (Everhour)

  • 1 in 3 employees said they would quit if they could no longer work remotely (Owl Labs

  • 50% of employees would take a pay cut just to continue working out of the office (USA Today)

So COVID opened up remote work options to the mainstream, and now more people are refusing to go back to the way traditional work used to be.

2. Productivity is high, but so is burnout.

The good news for employers is that productivity continues to trend in a positive direction -- 90% of remote employees surveyed admitted that their productivity was as good if not better than when they worked at the office.

The downside? That research shows employee burnout is also on the rise. 

A staggering 55% of employees say they work more hours since becoming remote, which is a recipe for burnout and high turnover. 

It’s crucial to get ahead of this alarming trend. Organizations must be more proactive about prioritizing their team’s mental health to prevent employee burnout from wreaking unnecessary havoc.

3. The US leads the way in remote workers, but other countries aren’t far behind.

According to 2022 remote work projections, the United States takes the top spot, with 53% of its workforce now working remotely. 

Germany and France are vying for second and third place with 37% and 33%, respectively, of their workforce. India and China aren’t trailing too far from them with 30% and 28%, respectively.

We predict these figures will only continue to rise, leading to:

4. 32% of all employed people worldwide will be remote by the end of 2021.

Statistics presented by Gartner show that:

  • 32% of global employees will be working remotely by 2021’s end, compared to just 17% in 2019.

  • 51% of knowledge workers worldwide will be in remote positions, which is up from 27% in 2019.

As we’ve seen throughout our previous State of Remote Work reports, remote work is here to stay, it’s growing, and it’s all happening at an exponential rate.

COVID-19 Update: The Remote Work Catalyst That Changed Everything 

With more COVID-19 variants popping up around the world, employers have been hesitant to bring their teams back to the office full-time. Many continue to experiment with hybrid work models. And even more, are erring on the side of caution by extending remote work indefinitely.

The pandemic threw employees into the deep end of remote work. Now that they’ve learned how to ride its unpredictable waves, many don’t want to return to their in-office positions. 

One Axios/Ipsos poll highlighted that 27% of Americans who are working remotely, or temporarily not working, believe returning to work is a considerable risk. That’s a high not seen since May.

Another poll shows 74% of professionals think remote work will become the new normal. So if employers don’t offer full-time remote work options, they could lose their best team members to companies embracing this transition. 

5 Trending News Articles About Remote Work (December 2021)

To keep up with the latest remote work trends, here are five viral news articles to add to your reading list:

  1. In 2022, Workers Will Define the Future of Work 
  2. This is what the office will look like in 2022 
  3. Remote working has led to managers spying more on staff – here are three ways to curb it   
  4. Work remote after COVID? Nearly 50% of US workers would take a pay cut for it, survey says
  5. Employees Are Quitting Instead of Giving Up Working From Home  

Final Thoughts on the Current State and Future of Remote Work

Once again, we see that remote work is still going strong thanks to the pandemic (not surprising), and it’s headed for continued, exponential growth.

Employees want to work remotely, or at least have the option of a hybrid work style if all-remote isn’t on the table. They’re also willing to jump ship (hello, Great Resignation) or lower their annual salary just to get there.

If you want to keep your best employees and attract highly-skilled new ones, you should consider offering permanent remote work options (or a hybrid model at a minimum), if you aren’t already doing so.

Join us next time as we explore where remote work stands in our next quarterly update. Keep an eye out for that, and we’ll chat soon!

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