Press Release from Grow Remote
Remote workers have a significantly better employee experience than on-site workers according to the latest data
In the summer of 2023, we worked with a team of occupational psychologists and data scientists from Welliba to study the influence of remote working on people’s employee experience. Welliba defines employee experience as how people experience their work and life, which is the result of the interaction between their characteristics and their environment. This shapes their relationship with their job and the organisations they work for. The nature of work and its meaning for individuals has changed forever, and so understanding this relationship and being able to set it on a positive footing is essential for individuals and companies to achieve their goals, not least in the area of remote work. Welliba reviewed the data of 14.000 employees in Europe, North-America, Asia and Africa.
Key findings of the study are:
- Remote workers have a significantly better overall employee experience than on-site workers.
- Europe leads the way in remote working, with high levels of adoption across different company types and age groups.
- Despite leading the way in adoption, remote workers in Europe do not necessarily have a better employee experience than remote workers elsewhere in the world.
- There are some key specific benefits of remote working, as well as some specific challenges and opportunities to improve the experience of remote workers (see detailed results)
The benefits of remote working are remarkable. Our research with Welliba estimates that remote workers are around 9% more productive than on-site workers. Remote working is more inclusive, and remote workers experience greater levels of:
- ‘Composure’: they rate themselves higher for feeling calm and composed.
- ‘Purpose’: they experience their work as more meaningful and fulfilling.
- ‘Growth’: they feel more able to develop and learn.
Remote working creates a more inclusive environment – for example our study shows a 31% improvement in the female:male balance of workers, compared with on-site work. Further, remote workers also report better working conditions (they are more satisfied about their physical working space) and a better work-life balance.
Despite these benefits to their overall experience and productivity, our research highlights several specific challenges listed below:
- Remote workers tend to find it more difficult than on-site workers to stay focused on tasks and goals.
- Remote workers may not take enough proper absence when ill, working-through illness instead. This is likely to have a negative impact on their productivity.
- Employees with a high level of education are more likely to be given access to remote working. The benefits of remote working may therefore be unevenly distributed across the workforce.
- There is some variation in the experience of remote workers across countries. There is a need for more standardisation of policy to allow every remote worker to achieve the benefits of remote working.
The Remote Worker Profile
- Age is no barrier to being a remote/hybrid worker: the age profiles of remote and onsite workers are almost identical.
- As education level increases, so does the probability of being a remote/hybrid worker (vs being onsite). Remote/hybrid workers are equally likely to be found at large companies and small companies.
- You don’t need to be on-site to be a manager – managers are just as likely to do their jobs remotely.
- Remote/hybrid working is most prevalent in IT and FMCG sectors; on-site working is most prevalent in Retail and Healthcare sectors.
In 2023, Europe is leading the way in remote working, with high levels of adoption and penetration into different company types and age groups. Our research shows that there are still issues that need to be addressed, both at a policy and management level, in order to achieve the benefits of remote working. Solving these issues will not happen overnight, but as we uncover more evidence to understand and evaluate remote working and other environments, we can do so in an objective and informed way that connects people’s experience of work to positive outcomes.