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The State of Remote Work

 

Q4 Report • December 2020


This report on the state of remote work in 2020 includes predictions for 2021, how COVID-19 is still affecting policies, which brands are staying remote, and more!

Welcome Back!

If you joined us for our first State of Remote Work back in September of 2020 -- by the way, thank you! -- you learned that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of the virtual workspace. 

But the question three months later is: WIll the shift in remote work continue? And will those companies in a temporary remote model decide to go fully remote or return to the traditional workplace?

Our second edition of the State of Remote Work will explore how this year may end and offers predictions about what the future holds for remote work in 2021. 

You’ll discover the top five remote work trends, see how COVID-19 continues to impact remote work (*hint* the answer may surprise you), and find out which top companies will continue working remotely into 2021. We’ll also share some recent viral news articles on the topic.

So let’s get started!

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The Top 5 Remote Work Trends

1. Work From Home 2021: Current and Future Trends in Remote Work

As a second wave of the Coronavirus is in full swing, remote work isn’t going anywhere any time soon. And with benefits like these, it’s no wonder we’re going to see this style of work well into 2021: higher pay, decreased expenses for both employees and employers, elimination of expensive and time-consuming commutes, better selection of job candidates, and increased productivity.

 

2. Remote Work Trends 2021

Despite being able to work from home, some experts predict that remote employees will choose to work somewhere else in 2021. Many people, aside from digital nomads, are leaving their countries and large, expensive cities for greener pastures. Rural countryside locales and places with affordable housing and reliable internet top the list for telecommuters.
 

3. Global Executives Respond to Remote Work

Other experts consider the state of remote work in 2021 a long-term investment. With lower operating costs and access to qualified candidates all over the world, they believe making the right adjustments could pay off big time. Execs are now implementing new virtual training programs and changes in HR standards to accommodate both in-house and remote team members, which should lead to a positive shift for companies and employees alike.

 

4. Agility Will Be Essential to the Future of Remote Work

Research shows becoming an agile company that promotes flexibility helps brands retain and attract the best global talent. When companies give employees the ability to work where they’re most productive, they decrease employee turnover and improve overall job satisfaction. This agility can also help companies attract and convince new team members to come on board. Plus, 'Head of Remote' positions will likely help with this and become normalized.

 

5. How Airbnb Predicts Remote Work Will Impact Travel in 2021

Since remote employees can work anywhere, Airbnb learned that 83% of those surveyed would consider relocating. Researchers from the company also noticed that many users are extending their travel plans by two weeks or more because of this perk.

And speaking of trends, we analyzed over 15,000 remote jobs that were posted on WWR overtime. Check out our findings >>

How COVID-19 Continues to Impact the State of Remote Work

The ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still dominating the state of remote work. Despite being a terrible situation overall, the end result for virtual employees has actually been pretty positive.

 

Check out these statistics to see what we mean:

 

This data is further supported by research showing that remote workers feel more engaged in their work. They also reported higher job satisfaction and admitted that they were more likely to stick with the company they’re currently working for.

With benefits like these, it’s no surprise that 99% of remote workers surveyed want to continue telecommuting in the future.

So while COVID-19 wreaks havoc on the world, there has been one silver lining: companies and employees are finally recognizing and taking advantage of the benefits that come with working remotely.

That’s why so many of the top companies have decided to keep their teams off-site in 2021, as you’ll see next.

The Top 10 Companies Staying or Going Remote In 2021

In our first State of Remote Work quarterly report, we highlighted 18 popular brands that decided to switch to remote work until the end of 2020 (and beyond, for some).

So here’s the latest batch of companies that plan to start or keep working remotely into 2021:

1. American Express, which enacted a temporary work-from-home policy, chose to extend this until June 2021.

2. Google is delaying the return to offices until September 2021 and will be piloting a flexible work-week. Will this hybrid approach work?

3. Airbnb is following a similar path by allowing their team to work from home until August 2021. However, they’re taking things a step further by giving their employees a $500 stipend for office equipment. Employees even receive a $500 credit per quarter that can be used on personal Airbnb rentals.

4. Uber’s approach is almost identical to Airbnb’s. The ride-share company is letting their team work from home until June 2021. And they’re giving each employee a $500 stipend to spend on their home office needs.

5. Google employees have the option to work from home until June 2021. Employees can decide to work a hybrid style (where they work remotely or in-house whenever they choose) once the Coronavirus settles down a bit.

6. Zillow says they’re now allowing their team to work remotely in 2021. Employees can also opt to permanently work from home.

7. Coinbase is also adopting a permanent work-from-home policy. Most team members can stay remote, but they still have the choice of working in-house if they prefer.

8. Mastercard has a similar plan in place. Employees can decide to work from home or return to the office.

9. Deutsche Bank has decided to let their employees work remotely for two days out of the week due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

10. Microsoft is doing things a little differently. They’re opening their offices back up in January 2021. However, employees can work from home on a partial basis if they desire -- as long as it’s less than half the time. Those wanting full-time work-from-home status need to get their manager’s approval.

10 Viral News Articles About Remote Work

The world became more familiar with remote work during 2020, and media outlets helped normalize the shift by encouraging employees to jump on board this new train of thinking.

Here’s what the latest and highest-trending news articles had to say about remote work:

1. Remote Work Is ‘Here To Stay’ — Even With a Vaccine, Says Former IBM CEO
 
2. Facebook, Twitter, and VC Firms Consider Life Outside Silicon Valley As They Shift To Remote Work

3. Portland Tech Community Is Optimistic, Focused On Innovation and Growth Despite The Pandemic, Profocus Technology Trends Report Shows
 
4. ‘Work From Anywhere’ Is Here To Stay. How Will It Change Our Workplaces?

5. Coronavirus: How The World Of Work May Change Forever
6. Why Remote Working Will Be The New Normal, Even After Covid-19 

7. Remote Working Is Here To Stay. But Who Will Be Doing It?

8. More companies are hiring a ‘director of remote work’

9. Recent Funding Announcements Give Insight Into Future Of Remote Work Industry

10. Microsoft's New 6-Word Remote Work Policy Is Brilliant. Here's Why Your Company Should Steal It

Final Thoughts On The Current State And Future Of Remote Work ✌️

The stats in this report prove remote work is here to stay, and it’s not exactly a bad thing. Though there’s nothing good about COVID-19, this catalyst pushed many companies toward remote work and all the benefits associated with it.

Brands are seeing higher employee engagement and productivity, gain access to top talent, and have lower overhead costs. Remote employees score greater job satisfaction and more money in their pockets. So is it any wonder many of the top companies are extending their work-from-home policies?

We’ll see what the next three months have in store for the remote work landscape during our next quarterly report. Keep an eye out for that -- and we’ll see you next time!

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